Wyoming Arts Council

Colorado Council on the Arts faces 50 percent budget cut, postpones grants deadlines

The economic crisis is taking a toll on the creative economies in our neighboring states. We reported a few days ago about a proposed bill to eliminate the South Dakota Arts Council (see http://wyomingarts.blogspot.com/2009/01/sd-govs-budget-eliminates-state-arts.html).

This press release comes from the Colorado Council on the Arts:

The current proposal for the State’s budget balancing plan includes a 50% reduction for the Colorado Council on the Arts. Such a cut would seriously impact the agency’s ability to continue to provide the grants and services for artists, community organizations, schools, creative businesses, and government agencies at its current level. The agency has scheduled a Listening Tour Jan. 30-Feb. 10 to gather important public feedback regarding the critical areas in which state investment is essential to support our state’s creative economy.

Public feedback is vital as the agency determines its future budget priorities.

Due to the budget uncertainty, the Council has also decided to postpone its March 12 grant deadline for the 2009-10 Grants to Artists and Organizations (GAO) and Success through Art (StART Schools) grants.

Artists, community groups, creative businesses, educators and municipal leaders are encouraged to attend a Listening Tour session and to invite their colleagues. The Listening Tour schedule is listed below and posted on the Council’s web site at www.coloarts.org. Additional sessions may be added. If you have questions about the tour, email coloarts@state.co.us.

The Council has also posted an online survey on the web site. This will only take a few minutes and will provide important input regarding the role of state funding for arts activities and creative enterprises in communities around the state.

The “Listening Tour” will travel to several Colorado cities close to Wyoming, including Fort Collins on Jan. 30, and both Craig and Steamboats Springs on Feb. 7.

The Wyoming Arts Council has worked on several projects with our sister agencies in Colorado and South Dakota. Colorado was a partner with Wyoming on the Tumblewords Audience Development Project, when we exchanged writers across borders for programs in schools, libraries and museums. South Dakota was a partner in the Arts Across Art Beyond Boundaries program. WAC also worked with S.D. on its Prairie Winds project.

Artists and arts organizations that have been nurtured by these state arts agencies have brought their talents to Wyoming. Denver’s Cleo Parker Robinson dance troupe has conducted residencies in Sheridan and Gillette, among other places. Wonderful Colorado writers such as Laura Pritchett, Mary Crow and Bob Greer have traveled to Wyoming to judge fellowships and teach workshops.

We’re all separate states out here in the Great Wide Open. Yet not one of us is an island.

To our colleagues in the region — wyomingarts wishes you well.

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