I want to write more about this but I've been writing on other things with similarly tight deadlines so I haven't been able to get it all organized yet. I can't wait any longer to share it, though.
Pony Express sent me this, "So, this came to me and each time I read it I cannot decide whether I am more offended by the lack of understanding of how the arts are in fact part of the economy or by the offensive language with which this is written. I would be happy to explain to anyone who will listen why I have never met an arts organization spending money on zero gravity chairs or saunas. I would also be happy to explain how money given to the arts goes right back to the economy."
Here's the information of which she speaks:
The following proposed amendment to the Economic Stimulus Package was just brought to our attention. Obviously it could have a major impact on our industry. Please read and act today!
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds in the economic stimulus bill from going to museums, casinos, aquariums, theaters, art centers. As such, it thus would bar from Federal Economic Recovery funding many potential projects that would create jobs for our members, invest in lasting products, and support the cultural vitality of many communities.
The language of the amendment, (Amendment No. 175, as filed) is, "None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas."
This amendment may be offered as early as Wednesday, February 4. Call your Senators TODAY and urge them to vote NO on the Coburn "Limitation of Funds Amendment No. 175." To reach your Senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators' offices
The following link will allow you to easily find your Senator's direct contact information: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
I've asked PE to put together some thoughts as well. If you have questions you'd like her to answer please leave them in comments. If you'd rather speak with her by e-mail please send your message to me at isabeau6AThotmailDOTcom and I will pass it along.