Dear Arts Council Advocate,
The Arts Council struggled through the recession and through the loss of funding from the State as best it could. However, we have come to a transition point.
First, let us explain why this matters.
The Arts Council exists to advocate for the arts "as a sector." In other words, we constantly point out to business and government that the arts are a politically and economically important part of the Sonoma County community.
Our lobbying helped convince the Board of Supervisors to consider creating a County Arts Commission and a tax-supported fund for the arts. We are immensely proud to have helped bring this to the table.
Then, as funding for public and education arts evaporated, the Arts Council managed to attract private grants to replace some of what was lost. These grants ultimately funded programs run by other organizations. We are also immensely proud of the role we have played in their efforts.
The Arts Council also supports the sonomaarts.com website, which has been a vibrant gateway to our arts scene for almost a decade and which gets millions of hits a year.
People who envision a better world often have a hard time working together politically. Idealists are non-conformists, and they won't "toe the party line."
That makes the Arts Council unique and invaluable. Somehow, after thirty years of hard work by a long line of really incredible people, the Arts Council actually represents a politically coherent constituency of idealists.
We can't let that go. But there's only one way we can continue.
Before we get to it, though, we will inform you that the Arts Council had to lay off all of its employees due to lack of funds.
We would like to publicly acknowledge the outstanding contributions John Moran has made as an advocate par excellence and as the creative mastermind behind most of what you have seen from us. Vicki Kumpfer did a spectacular job for the entire County with her work on ArtTrails. Courtney Arnold's uncanny ability to make things happen for the arts community profited us all tremendously. And of course, our Executive Director Jennifer Sloan's strived consistently to find a stable source of funding for the Arts Council. Their deep knowledge and heartfelt commitment are irreplaceable.
Where do we go from here? That depends entirely upon you.
The Arts Council intends to continue as an all-volunteer organization for the foreseeable future. In the weeks ahead, we will let you know how you can help.
Tom Lombardo, Board President, email@example.com
Kris Abrahamson, Board Vice-President