From Arts for Learning: County Arts Budget: We Need Your Help! 9/23/10

Dear Friends and Supporters of Arts for Learning,

Last week there was an amazing turnout from the arts community at the 1st Miami-Dade County budget hearing. Many of you turned out in support of Arts for Learning and the other vital cultural groups that make up our community. Thank you!

The good news is that we made the first step in securing funding for the Cultural Affairs grants budget. But, this process is not ever yet and we still need your help. The final budget hearing will take place on September 23rd at 5:00p.m. in the County Commission Chambers. Once again, we ask that you to make every effort to attend and speak to the Commission on behalf of the arts. Your message should include thanking them for their support and asking for full restoration of the Cultural Affairs budget. Crowds are expected so get there early and be prepared to wait to make your case. You will have two minutes to speak. Please wear a black shirt and Arts Action Alliance will be on site to provide you with bright ARTS SUPPORT stickers for you to wear. If you have questions about this process or need more information please contact the Arts Action Alliance at

Please also write and email the Commissioners about this issue before the meeting. A sample letter is below and also a contact list.

Together we can ensure that the funds are in place to continue to do the important work that the arts community engages in everyday.

Sheila Womble
Executive Director
Arts for Learning
1900 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 201 Miami, FL. 33132
Phone: 305.576.1212 Fax: 305.576.1193

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Sample Message

[Please personalize this draft message – remember County Commissioners have told us that your personal stories have the most impact. I also suggest using just two or three of the bullet points included below as examples.]

Dear [ _______,]

I am writing to urge you to support the restoration of the proposed 25% cut to the Department of Cultural Affairs’ grants programs. I know that you have tough choices to make about next year’s budget but please know that the arts are part of the solution for re-energizing our economy and making our community great.

Here are a few important facts:
· Every dollar of County arts support leverages $27 dollars of other funds.
· Arts organizations generate a billion dollars in local economic impact annually.
· 12 million people attend arts events every year in Miami-Dade County.
· Other businesses depend on the arts. People who attend arts events spend more than a half a billion dollars, parking their cars, eating in local restaurants and shopping.
· Cultural activities provide more than 2 million experiences every year to the children of our county.
· Our community’s outstanding arts activities are giving Miami-Dade a worldwide competitive edge in attracting tourism and business.

Those are the economic facts. I also want to tell you about how important County support for the arts is to me [(or to my organization). Tell your story here].

What you do now will have an effect on the entire course of our economy and our community. I am counting on your support for maintaining funding for the County’s investments in the arts.

Thank you for your help.

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Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners 2010

Dennis C. Moss, District 9, Chairman
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First Street – Suite 220, Miami, FL 33128
Phone: (305) 375-4832
Fax: (305) 372-6011

Barbara J. Jordan, District 1
Downtown office: (305) 375-5694
District Office: (305) 474-3011
Fax: (305) 372-6028

Dorrin D. Rolle, District 2
Downtown office: (305) 375-4833
District Office: (305) 694-2779
Fax: (305) 375-4843

Audrey M. Edmonson, District 3
Downtown office: (305) 375-5393
District Office: (305) 636-2331
Fax: (305) 372-6104

Sally A. Heyman, District 4
Downtown office: (305) 375-5128
District Office: (305) 787-5999
Fax: N/A

Bruno A, Barreiro, District 5
Main office: (305) 643-8525
Miami Beach District Office: (305) 673-7443
Fax: (305) 643-8528

Rebeca Sosa, District 6
Downtown office: (305) 375-5696
District Office: (305) 267-6377
Fax: (305) 372-6090

Carlos A. Gimenez, District 7
Downtown office: (305) 375-5680
District Office: (305) 669-4003
Fax: (305) 372-6103

Katy Sorenson, District 8
Downtown office: (305) 375-5218
District Office: (305) 378-6677
Fax: (305) 372-6073

Javier D. Souto, District 10
Downtown office: (305) 375-4835
District Office: (305) 222-2116
Fax: (305) 375-3456

Joe A. Martinez, District 11
Downtown office: (305) 375-5511
District Office: (305) 552-1155
Fax: (305) 375-5883

Jose “Pepe” Diaz, District 12
Downtown office: (305) 375-4343
District Office: (305) 599-1200
Fax: (305) 372-6109

Natacha Seijas, District 13
Downtown office: (305) 375-4831
District Office: (305) 820-8571
Email: not available via email
Fax: (305) 375-2011

Miami Dade County Mayor
Mayor Carlos Alvarez
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, 29th Floor, Miami, FL 33128
Phone: (305) 375-5071
Fax: (305) 375-3618

Miami Dade County Manager
George M. Burgess
County Manager
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, Suite 2910, Miami, FL 33128
Phone: (305) 375-1880
Fax: (305) 375-1262