Last week Governor Snyder released his Fiscal Year 2014 Executive Budget Recommendations calling for an increase of $1 million in state investment for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) - recommending a total budget of $6,650,000. The recommendation represents an investment of $6 million in state General Fund / General Purpose dollars and $650,000 in federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is important to recognize that, while on paper this is a $1 million increase, we do see a correctly anticipated decrease in federal funds represented in the overall budget. In the end, the budget will be increased by $500,000 from FY13 to FY14 for the MCACA. Breakdown by Fiscal Year: FY 2013:Total Budget - $6.15 millionState Investment - $5 millionFederal Investment - $1.15 million FY 2014:Total Budget - $6.65 millionState Investment - $6 millionFederal Investment - $650,000This is the first time in over a decade that Michigan’s Governor has called for an increase in state arts funding in back-to-back years. We thank Governor Snyder for his leadership and recognition of the importance of the arts to Michigan’s economy and its citizens. This increase continues to validate the work ArtServe Michigan has been doing behind the scenes with legislators and administration officials, while conducting the research needed to help make the case for the impact of arts and culture. While this is an great step forward, we know that the state can and should contribute more to support its arts and cultural organizations and artists. Moving forward, we plan to seek continued support for an appropriation of at least $10 million for FY 2014 in recognition of the powerful role that Michigan’s creative economy contributes to the state’s reinvention – and a significant step forward to returning the state’s investment in creativity to at least $25 million for the future – a level appropriate to the sector’s strategic growth potential. As you know, this is just the first step in the budget process as each house will now review the Governor’s budget and provide their respective recommendations. Know that ArtServe will keep you up to speed as things progress. Michigan Cultural Data Project Orientations The Cultural Data Project will be in Michigan at the end of February to conduct in-person training sessions to assist new and current users of the Michigan Cultural Data Project. The four sessions will take place in Kalamazoo, Lansing and Dearborn and will cover CDP Reports Orientation as well as a New User Orientation. Please click the links below to register for one of these free sessions. Kalamazoo (February 26th):February 26, 2013 from 10am to 11:30am – CDP Reports Orientation – Kalamazoo Public Library (315 S Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI): the CDP Reports Orientation will give an overview of the CDP’s powerful reporting tools and is most useful for organizations that have already completed a Data Profile. Lansing (February 28th – 2 sessions):February 28, 2013 from 10am to 11:30am – New User Orientation – Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (1210 Turner St., Lansing, MI): The CDP New User orientation will walk you through the process of completing your Data Profile, applying to participating grantmakers, and generating reports. February 28, 2013 from 1pm to 2:30pm – CDP Reports Orientation – Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (1210 Turner St., Lansing, MI): the CDP Reports Orientation will give an overview of the CDP’s powerful reporting tools and is most useful for organizations that have already completed a Data Profile. Dearborn (March 1st):February 28, 2013 from 10am to 11:30am – CDP Reports Orientation – Ford Community and Performing Arts Center (15801 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI): the CDP Reports Orientation will give an overview of the CDP’s powerful reporting tools and is most useful for organizations that have already completed a Data Profile. If you are interested in either session but are not within driving distance, know that you can always take advantage of the free monthly webinars provided by the CDP. Please click here to view a schedule or sign up for one for the webinars. Update: Senate Bill 133 and House Bill 4072 A quick update on Monday’s message regarding the impact that Senate Bill 133 and House Bill 4072 will have on arts education in Michigan. Considering the response to our message, I wanted to be clear in pointing out that ArtServe is doing more than just monitoring these bills and keeping you updated. While many may have received a general email notifying you of the legislation, those who reside in a district whose elected official sponsored or cosponsored the legislation were sent an alert asking them to contact their member. Thus far, our advocates have sent nearly 200 emails to the elected officials supporting these bills! Many of you replied asking what ArtServe's plans were to fight this or if we would start a petition/email alert. As of now, there is no guarantee that either of these bills will go before committee. Every bill that is introduced is sent to its respective committee and it is up to chamber leadership and the Chair to decide whether or not to bring this before the committee. If either moves forward, we will certainly expand our email alert to a broader group. Know that ArtServe will continue to monitor this legislation and work behind the scenes to keep this from moving forward. As always, if you have any questions or comments please contact Mike Latvis, ArtServe Michigan, at 248-379-5897.