As the Pennsylvania House of Representatives moves HB 1416 to Conference Committee with the State Senate, it is clear that more consideration is due to assure that arts funding is not zeroed out of the PA budget for the new fiscal year.
Over 1,000 arts groups, programs and projects employ more than 36,000 people in Pennsylvania and generate more than $1 billion each year, boosting Pennsylvania’s state and local economies.
New Jersey’s arts similarly stimulate our state’s economy and patrons who attend events throughout the Garden State return over a half billion dollars each year in economic impact by spending on food, retail, transportation and lodging costs associated with their cultural experiences. Add that to over a half billion more of economic impact from direct spending by non profit arts groups–most spent within the State! The exact same case is true in PA.
These points should not be missed by PA legislators as they resolve the budget for Governor Rendell’s signature. Besides bringing communities together and promoting civic and social well being–besides making streets and cities safer and more attractive-the arts are a smart and inexpensive investment in the economy. The return is clear, and the ripple effect of a zeroed out PA arts budget will be felt for hundreds of miles from Harrisburg, clear across the Delaware into NJ.
Hard choices need to be made by wise leaders-do right by PA arts!
Ann Marie Miller
432 High St.
Burlington, NJ 08016