Dear WA Arts and Arts Education Advocates,

While we know your are busily preparing for your Thanksgiving holiday, we felt it was important to communicate this important update on the elimination of funding that will impact arts programs.

The Senate is set to vote on an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Monday, November 29 that would ban all earmarks in the FY2011, FY2012, and FY2013 appropriations bills. This could eliminate funding for The John F. Kennedy Center’s education programs and VSA funding in the pending FY2011 omnibus appropriations bill. Senator Coburn’s amendment makes no distinction between previously authorized national projects, such as the Kennedy Center and VSA, and local, unauthorized projects that most of us associate with the term earmarks.

It is essential for you to contact our WA Senators this week and/or early Monday, November 29 and alert them to the Coburn amendment’s impact on arts education, the Kennedy Center, and VSA. It is amendment #4697 to S. 510.

Please contact both Senators Murray and Cantwell. If you are unable to talk directly with the Senators please talk with their staff – see the names/numbers listed here:

The message is simple … tell your Senators:

  • To vote AGAINST the Coburn Amendment #4697; and
  • Explain that the elimination of funding for the Kennedy Center and VSA will negatively impact arts education and services to persons with disabilities in Washington state

Thanks so much! With you beside us, we have much to be thankful for this week!