They all vote. (Or 97 percent of them, at least.) Then elected officials slash their groups’ public funding.
Many arts patrons and activists find themselves in that situation in New Haven and in Connecticut. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven aims to do something about that — by starting with a push to inject arts issues into this year’s election campaigns in the state.
A new group called Create the Vote CT is taking on that challenge. The Arts Council is a founding co-sponsor. The group has distributed a questionnaire about arts and cultural issues to all gubernatorial candidates. The group plans to publish the results. Then it will host a forum for the candidates next month, before the primaries.
Sample question: “The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $80 million in revenue to local and state governments. Yet the state recently allocated only $4.2 million for arts and culture I in next year’s budget, which represents a 60% decrease since 2009.
“Will you support increased state arts funding building on this return on investment? If so, at what level and from what funding source?
Daniel Fitzmaurice, the arts council’s dynamic executive director, discussed the project, why it matters, and the connection between arts and culture and other issues like education and economic development, on an episode of WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven” program. Click on the audio file or Facebook Live video below to hear the full episode. And click here to learn more about and get involved with Create the Vote CT.