Dear Rep./Sen. _______:
I write you today to encourage you to add back funds to the proposed cuts to the Department of Community and Culture including the proposed elimination of the state arts acquisition budget, as well as cuts to the Division of Art & Museum’s grants budget, library grants, the Historic Preservation Program, Zoos, and Bookmobiles.
Although this is a tough economic year, and tough funding decisions need to be made, the proposed cuts to these cultural programs go too far. I encourage you to add back funds to these programs when the budget numbers are released in two weeks.
Utah’s cultural industry, comprised of nonprofit organizations such as performing arts groups, libraries, universities, historic preservation, history, and zoos as well as creative individuals such as artists, actors, musicians, dancers, scholars, and more contribute significantly to Utah’s economy. Investing in the state’s cultural programs is good for business:
1. Utah’s cultural community contributes over 41,000 jobs
2. The cultural community contributes over $130 Billion nationally to the economy
3. The cultural community yields an 1800% return on average in revenue back to the state in income, sales, and tourism taxes.
4. Cultural entities create livable communities that attract tourists and the highly desired “creative workforce.”
5. Exposure to culture enhances creativity, which improves test scores in children as well as makes Utah’s workforce at large more innovative and successful.