Cuts would have adverse effect on region

We the undersigned, as representatives of arts and cultural organizations in Northeast Michigan, are concerned with proposals to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services from the federal budget. These very small federal agencies, which account for less than two tenths of 1 percent of the federal budget, provide important support to us. These cuts may be happening at the national level, the impact will be felt here. These agencies provide important grants to us and provide services which we use. Among the area groups and agencies which have received this support include: Alcona Public Library, Alpena County Library, Art in the Loft, the Besser Museum, Michigan Arts & Culture Northeast, Presque Isle District Library, Thunder Bay Arts Council, Thunder Bay Theater, the US-23 Heritage Trail and many others. Many good things have happened in Northeast Michigan as a result of these agencies and losing them will hurt us here. In Michigan, arts and cultural organizations account for 72,000 jobs, annually spend over half a billion dollars and account for over $1 billion of tourism investment. In short, we are talking about critical sectors of the state and regional economy. Communities need the arts to be competitive and students need the arts to develop skills necessary for the 21st century workplace. If you want more information about how these federal agencies benefit us locally, please visit the Facebook page at Arts Advocacy Alliance of Northeast Michigan.

Denise Bearre

Director Alcona Public Library

Anne Belanger

Regional Outreach & Program

Director, Presque Isle District

Library; and Emmy-award winning Producer, Bon Ami filmworks

Justin Christensen-Cooper

Art in the Loft

Mary Ellen Jones

Michigan Arts and Culture

Northeast

Tim Keuhnlein

Thunder Bay Arts Council

Eric Magness-Eubank

Director Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library