General Assembly Approves Highest Increase to Arts in State History

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2000

MARYLAND STATE ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES FY2001 BUDGET MEETS 9% FUNDING GOAL

Annapolis, MD - Governor Paris N. Glendening's requested increase for the Maryland State Arts Council was approved for the FY2001 Budget voted on by the General Assembly at the close of session. The $2 million increase comes on the heels of last year's installment for the same amount. The current $13.3 million Maryland State Arts Council budget meets the 9% goal of the 8/9/10% Plus initiative, a three-year funding platform developed by Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

This allocation puts Maryland's arts community well within reach of 10%, a state goal recommended by a gubernatorial blue-ribbon business committee a decade ago. Begun in 1999 to correct the steady erosion of grant dollars to arts organizations over the past decade, the 8/9/10% Plus proposal has been successful on two fronts: reversing those losses and bolstering state leadership support for arts funding.

Over 200 art organizations statewide, including all 24 arts councils, and Art-in-Education programs have seen a boost to their state grants. The additonal program funds will ensure qulaity arts programing for every school and district.

Shriver Hall Concert Series Managing Director and grant recipient, Bill Nerenberg, stated, "It's refreshing to live in a state where the arts are not relegated to the background to seek, hat in hand, whatever might be the leavings of the political process."

Along with an expanded granting capacity, arts organizations have seen a 21.7% increase in audience interest. Matching funds have also risen by an estimated 22.3 %.

In his opening remarks at this year's Governor's Arts Awards at ArtSalute, Governor Glendening stated he hoped his administration would be "remembered for its strong support of arts and culture," and that he "looked forward to continuing partnerships with the arts community." During his administration, Maryland's rank for arts funding has moved up from 25th in 1998, joining the top ten in the nation this year.

The ultimate goal of the three-year funding initiative is a total allocation of $6 million by 2002. The upcoming 2001legislative session marks the final stage of the 8/9/10% Plus plan.

Located in Ellicott City, Maryland Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy organization founded in 1977. Its mission is to speak for the arts on the state and national levels as well as to ensure adequate funding for the Maryland State Arts Council.

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