Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Virginia Culture Lovers, Please Help!

This just in from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, which sponsors the highlight of my year, the Virginia Festival of the Book. (Coming next month!)

Over the weekend, the Virginia House Appropriations Committee voted to cut state funding for VFH by $290,000, effective July 1, 2010, and to eliminate all state funding for VFH, effective July 1, 2011. The Senate Finance Committee recommended cutting the VFH budget by $290,000 effective July 1, 2010, but recommended no further cuts. Each House will vote on its own budget on February 25, and the difference in the two budgets will be resolved in conference committee.

VFH has already experienced deep cuts, in the last two budget years, adversely affecting every VFH program. Additional cuts will undermine such well-known educational programs as the Virginia Festival of the Book, Encyclopedia Virginia, VFH Grants and Fellowships, With Good Reason Radio programs; African American, Virginia Indian, and Virginia Folklife Programs.

Call, fax, or email your State Delegates and Senators to protest additional cuts to advocate for continued funding. Find your legislators’ contact information here.
  • Be personal. Talk about your involvement and commitment to the VFH.
  • Forward this request to your boards, membership, and address book.
  • Post a comment on your Facebook or other social networking site, asking that other Virginians contact their legislators as well.
  • Write a post on your personal blog stating how you feel about these budget cuts.
  • Email or call your local news outlets to express your dismay and describe the effect of such cuts.
Talking Points for These Contacts with Legislators and Media Outlets
  • VFH funding and programs increase the attractiveness of the state as a tourism destination by assisting museums and cultural sites to provide excellent visitor experiences.
  • VFH Grants support organizations and communities important to you and your representatives.
  • VFH increases the attractiveness of communities to new businesses.
  • VFH builds the educational capacity of Virginia's teachers by providing resources and professional development opportunities.
  • VFH provides financial and professional development support to Virginia's museums, building community social capital and pride.
  • VFH Leverages state funds with cash and in-kind matches.
  • VFH promotes a vigorous exchange of ideas, and is a leader in modeling civil public dialogue. Radio shows like With Good Reason improve our understanding of the issues we face as a Commonwealth and a nation. The Virginia Festival of the Book is a nationally recognized model of public discussion. Now more than ever, our situation requires that we approach public policy with an understanding of the past, a willingness to confront issues of the present, and a commitment to shaping a more promising future.
Click here for additional information on how VFH programs contribute to the economic and educational vitality of the Commonwealth.

Additional Sources of Information on VFH Programs and Advocacy Tips
Effects of Cuts (doc)
Program Accomplishments (doc)
VFH Programs
VFH Website
VFH Mission and Strategic Vision
General VFH Information (doc)
Advocacy Tips (doc)
The Do's and Don'ts of Legislative Letter Writing (pdf)
Advocacy Visit Report Form (doc)
About the Humanities (pdf)

Find Your Virginia General Assembly Representatives
Who's My Legislator?
Contact Information of Senators
Contact Information of Delegates

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