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Dallas Arts Funding In Jeopardy


by Danielle Georgiou 17 Jun 2009

Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a Dance Lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington where she serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. She is also a member of Muscle Memory Dance Theatre – a modern dance collective. Danielle is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities at […]

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Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a Dance Lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington where she serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. She is also a member of Muscle Memory Dance Theatre – a modern dance collective. Danielle is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas, and her first book, The Politics of State Public Arts Funding, is out now.

Dallas arts funding is in jeopardy. The City Manager is recommending that the Office of Cultural Affairs be abolished and that arts and culture be put under the Library Department. The direct funding to arts organizations is currently projected to be cut by 35 percent, and it’s possible that there could be additional cuts. This would be a disaster for every resident of North Texas.

Dallas has the wonderful opportunity of becoming the next big thing in art; it’s right on the tips of our fingers. Having an effective and efficient arts base can boost a city’s economic prowess. Can we afford to lose this opportunity? If you care about the arts in Dallas, then the arts community needs your presence at the Dallas City Council meetings. The first one is Wednesday.

Today, the City Manager will present the latest budget recommendations. The Council Briefing starts at 9 a.m. in 6ES. However, the budget briefing will not start until after proclamations, board and committee appointments and open mike have finished. So unless you sign up to speak prior to the briefing, come after 10 a.m. advises Joanna St. Angelo, Executive Director of the Sammons Center for the Arts.

If you cannot make today’s meeting, there are other opportunities:

  • June 22 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center – 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas
  • June 25 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake – 950 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas

Your presence is needed and greatly appreciated. “If we want Dallas to be the next great home for the arts, we must show and voice our support or funding may be cut drastically,” says Gayle Halperin, of the Dance Council.

For more information, visit the Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition Web site or call 214.520.7789.

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  • alan

    This is definitely a worthy cause. The OCA does a lot to promote the arts in North Texas, and the funding that would be lost could mean the end for some smaller organizations (and further cutbacks for those that are larger).

  • Fort Worth is going through the same thing. The city is looking at suspending funding for all outside agencies in order to try to cover approximately $84,000,000 in budget shortfalls.

    One of the big “outside agencies” to lose would be the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County which raises over $2,000,000 annually. Those monies are dispersed amongst the many arts organization in Fort Worth. This includes Stage West, The Fort Worth Opera, Hip Pocket Theatre, The Fort Worth Symphony, Circle Theatre, Kids Who Care, Imagination Celebration… along with many, many more.

    It is my understanding that the city of Fort Worth, through taxes and direct funding, supports over half of the Arts Council’s $2,000,000+ annual grants budget.

    The loss of these monies would be detrimental. At the end of the day, it means LESS for everyone. Less work for artists and designers, less money being spent in the community, less programming for educational outreach, less cultural influence and growth for the city in general.

    Right now corporate and foundation support for these non-profit organizations is a fraction of what it used to be. Losing city support would be a crushing blow. If you live in Fort Worth, please write your local councilperson to let them know that you support arts funding for the betterment of your community.

    Mayor Mike Moncrief mike.moncrief@fortworthgov.org
    District 2 Sal Espino sal.espino@fortworthgov.org
    District 3 vacant
    District 4 Danny Scarth danny.scarth@fortworthgov.org
    District 5 Frank Moss frank.moss@fortworthgov.org
    District 6 Jungus Jordan jungus.jordan@fortworthgov.org
    District 7 Carter Burdette carter.burdette@fortworthgov.org
    Mayor Pro Tem/District 8 Kathleen Hicks
    kathleen.hicks@fortworthgov.org
    District 9 Joel Burns joel.burns@fortworthgov.org