The following sample letter is designed to advocate more state support for the arts in California. It is available as a Word file and as a PDF file. You may also select and copy the plaintext version below in your browser, then paste it in to a file in your favorite word-processing program. The more you customize this and make it your own, the more effective it will be.
Today's Date, 20__
Governor/Senator/Assembly Member [full name]
_____ State Capitol, Sacramento, CA ______
Dear Governor/Senator/Assemblymember [last name]:
I am writing to you regarding the restoration of funding for the California Arts Council (CAC) in the 2007-08 state budget. It has been four years since state funding from the California general fund was reduced to $1.1 million. At just $0.03 per person, California spends less per capita than any other state or territory in the United States – less than Mississippi, the District of Columbia and Guam. In comparison, New York spends $2.35 per person.
As a result, California no longer funds artists’ residencies in the schools, community institutions and jails; the state’s touring program has disappeared; and there are no fellowships for individual artists. Without support, we will continue to lose our State’s most creative and talented people – a trend which is already beginning.
The arts play a vital role in communities throughout California, impacting public safety, youth development, health issues, tourism, economic development and quality of life. In addition, the arts industry has a positive economic impact of $5.4 billion per year. The non-profit arts sector also has a huge social impact in reducing juvenile delinquency and recidivism among released prisoners.
[Please include any personal experience or specific examples of arts, cultural or arts education programs that impact the community]
The Governor and legislature approved increases for arts education in California schools this year. I urge you to take the next step and support restoration of general fund support for the California Arts Council in the amount of $37 million, or $1.00 per capita, and help bring back vital arts programs to California.
[Organization/affiliation/profession, if applicable]