Thursday, May 7, 2009

Do You Research in the State of Pennsylvania?

From the The Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would eliminate all funding for arts and culture grants in the 2009-2010 state budget. If the Senate version prevails, there will be no arts and culture grants in the state of Pennsylvania starting on July 1 of this year (which includes $14 million for Grants to the Arts).

In addition, Governor Rendell proposes to completely cut the funding of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Museum Assistance Grant. The elimination of this funding will cause HSP and many of our peer institutions in the history and heritage community to cut programs and services or even shut down completely!

And finally, we have learned that the Department of Education's Multicultural Heritage/Ethnic Studies program may be cut from this year's budget. This program contracts HSP as a provider of curricular support to the state's K-12 educators on the subject of Pennsylvania's immigrant/ethnic history. The elimination of this funding would be a huge blow to HSP's interpretation and outreach for the coming years. Here are a few ways you can protest these funding cuts: 1. Click on the following link to send an electronic letter to your state legislators. You can personalize the letter by adding a story about a personal experience with an arts and culture organization or you can send it in its current form.

2. Write a personal letter or make a phone call to your local representative stressing the importance of the arts and culture community to the state of Pennsylvania. The addresses of your local representatives can be found by using the Legislator Lookup at The arts and culture sector is vital driver of the state's economy and education. To cut this funding entirely sends a message that our state law makers do not care about Pennsylvania's history and heritage and place no importance on passing-on the lessons of the past to our children and future citizens. This is not in keeping with the wishes of the people. According to a recent Penn State-Harrisburg survey, 91% of respondents surveyed said that they would support public funding for historical sites and museums.
Please take the time to support Pennsylvania's non-profit arts and culture organizations.

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