Arts Council Supporters
Stunned by 37.5% Funding Cut


Last year's funding - $120,000. This year - $75,000 !!!

A 37.5% cut was recommended in a surprise move the DAY of last Wed.'s budget hearing in Key West... giving the commissioners virtually no time to reflect or respond.

The next budget hearing is this Wed. Sept. 13 at the Key Largo Library at 5:05 p.m.  You're invited.

If you DO NOT AGREE with this budget cut, and the message it sends to the community, please e-mail your commissioners today. 

NO other BOCC Direct-funded non-profit had their budget cut below last year's levels by even $1. Yet the Arts Council got blindsided by a $45,000 cut.

We just thought you should know.

We did get an  increase last year, thanks to the leadership of late Commissioner Murray Nelson. Although we didn't agree with him on everything, he had a plan for increasing the Arts Council budget SIGNIFICANTLY each year, until it reached a level commensurate with other counties. Now the recommendation is to go back to a funding level from 2005.

We've heard the argument that the county does a lot for the arts already... for instance, providing our office space and the ordinance creating 1% for public art.

We think the arts do a lot for the county!  Do you agree?

Who do we serve?

We've also hear the complaint that we serve the wealthiest people in the county since they are the ones who are patrons of the arts.

Apparently we need help making the case that we serve many small individual visual, literary and performing artists, galleries and mom-and-pop businesses, as well as school children, senior citizens and members of the public who otherwise would not have access to the arts.

We do this with rotating art exhibits in ten public buildings; providing cultural information to 27 news media every week; music in the airport; lunchtime concerts in the senior citizen centers; grants like Artists in Schools, ArtReach and Hurricane Emergency Grants....

Please let your commissioners know:


 I am willing to pay a few extra cents this year to keep the Arts Council funded at last year's level of $120,000.


Click here for e-mail addresses and phone numbers:

Commissioner Dixie Spehar

Commissioner George Neugent

Mayor Charles McCoy

Commissioner Digennaro

Commissioner Glenn Patton

County Administrator Tom Willi

September 11, 2006


Florida Keys Council of the Arts