Posts tagged ‘BeautifulCity.ca’

April 3, 2013

Supporting the Arts in Many Ways, Legoland and Social Influences

Lots going on at City Hall this week – Toronto City Council is about to vote on whether to approve $6 million in arts funding for the 2013 budget. Volcano has put together a comprehensive blog post on the number of ways you can show your support in Erupting Now.

You read that correctly –  the six million in arts funding we all celebrated? It’s not a done deal. They still have to approve it. Our work is not done, make your voice heard.

I mentioned yesterday on Facebook and Twitter that the City is  collecting feedback on what we think the funding priorities are in an online survey (click here). Given the public consultations about this begin on April 6th, I’d be inclined to fill it out prior to that.

Speaking of arts, I was at the opening night of Legoland last night, and had a great time, it’s always a treat to head over to Passe Muraille, see art, see people, and talk about art and lipstick with folks.  Legoland was a favourite of mine when it was in the 2010 Fringe, and it’s still as darkly quirkyfunny. Much fun.

From alltop.com – Social Influencers: Digital Marketing’s most overlooked and misused resource. If anyone from CDAM 101 is reading today – this infographic describes what we were talking about in last week’s social media class when we ran out of time. Enjoy!

social-influencers-infographic

March 25, 2013

Our Work Is Never Quite Done

Arts Advocacy Committee meeting last week, emails back and forth about arts funding, links posted and reposted and reminded, so of course I was all set to write an impassioned post this morning about how in terms of that 4 million in arts funding? We ain’t there yet.
Then I was on Facebook and found someone had already written one. And since I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel when the wheel has been invented well – I’m posting Emma’s note in full below. Read it. It’s good. If you don’t get something, it has links.
Well spoken Ms. Emma. Talk soon.
Get Arts Funding Passed
by Emma Mackenzie Hillier (Notes) on Monday, 25 March 2013 at 11:36

Hi friends,

So remember when we found out that City Council was going to approve an extra $4,000,000 to their arts budget and we all did a happy dance? We can’t quite finish doing the Snoopie until April 3 when city council will finally vote. I don’t know about you… but in my opinion it’s our job to let our councillors and mayor know that this extra funding is crucial. I mean.. I’d love it if Theatre Projects suddenly had an extra $50,000 grand to throw to companies… like my own.

Uh oh… but wait… I can hear the self-defeatists now: “But Emma… to do that would take work and I prefer to spend all my energy on creating work… except for when I’m on facebook procrastinating because art is hard to make. Administrative Work, Emma, it would take Work!!”

Yes… yes it would… if I hadn’t drafted a letter that you can copy and paste and send along to your city councillor (whose email can be found by clicking on this link http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp).

Oh, wait… I hear another voice: “But Emma… I don’t really know anything about arts funding and how it benefits the sector in Toronto! How can I write and say I support something I don’t know enough about?”

Ah, well, my friend, simply click on this link: http://www.torontoartscouncil.org/ARTS-FACTS/Impact, read up, and maybe snoop around some more on the Toronto Arts Council’s website. There’s some useful stuff in there. Remember… an uninformed artist is an ignorant one (at least in my books). Know your shit, people. Otherwise how can you create for any community but the one in your own head?

So… all in all… it should take less time to fill out the letter below and send it to your city counillor than it did to read this note. Happy Arts Activism! You just did your good deed for the day… and your civic duty… two birds, one stone.

Dear [insert councillor],

I want to take a minute to thank you for your hard work on city council. As a member of your ward, who reads your regular newsletter, I want to let you know that I appreciate what you do for the members of your ward when you represent us to the city.

I’m writing to ask for your support of Recommendation ED20.5 at the vote on April 3, 2013. The arts sector is a vibrant part of our community and as an [insert title here] who works within the theatre industry I know first-hand how crucial additional funding is to the sector’s growth. The extra revenue, delivered to the Toronto Arts Council and then on to artists, will impact the capacity of theatre companies and individual artists to create work that speaks to the vibrant and diverse culture in Toronto.

I’m sure you’re aware of the reports and statistics that have been released on the impacts of arts funding, but to reiterate a few of the highlights:

Grants allocated by Toronto Arts Council directly support:

Creativity:

  • On average 900 new works of art are created annually with support from TAC.

Economy:

  • 15,000 artistic and administrative staff are paid by TAC funded organizations
  • $40,000,000 is generated annually in ticket sales
  • For every $1 granted to an arts organization by TAC, $14.95 is received from other levels of government, the private sector or earned revenue

Arts Access:

  • 15,000 performances, exhibitions, events are presented annually
  • 7.5 million people including 1.5 million children and youth attend TAC supported events annually

The impact on Toronto’s neighbourhoods and communities of increased arts funding includes:

  • creation of a more beautiful city
  • promotion of understanding between cultures
  • provision of opportunities for at-risk youth
  • attraction of business
  • increase of citizen engagement
  • support for underserviced neighbourhoods
  • increase of tourism
  • reduction of crime
  • increase of volunteerism
  • improvement of the economy
  • creation of community pride
  • increase in community organizational capacity

Toronto has lagged behind the rest of country in its arts funding; this increase was recommended 10 years ago. I’m so excited to see that there has been such progress towards the goal and I hope that you will aid in its passing. Speaking as a member of the arts and [insert Ward here] community I can attest to the passion, drive, and personal impact the work of our artists has on the Toronto community. Please support Recommendation ED20.5 and increase funding for this vital sector.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

 

January 11, 2013

Money for the Arts! and Got Five?

to quote a Facebook friend:

A red letter day for the arts!! First Moore’s announcement of $2 million for Business + the Arts’ wonderful ArtsVest program and then Rob Ford‘s astounding announcement of $22.5 million over 5 years for cultural programs and grants in Toronto, and Gary Crawford‘s motion of same passing at Executive this afternoon! BRAVO BeautifulCity, Toronto Arts Council, Culture Division and all the activists and advocates who made such cogent arguments for the billboard tax and the targets set in the Creative Capital Gains Report. Hooray and Congratulations!! I do have some questions and concerns (where is the rest of the billboard tax revenue going) but you can’t argue with that kind of dough. So for today let’s celebrate! Questions can wait til later.

and from beautifulcity.ca

“This budget includes $22.5 million, over the next few years, in new funding for the Arts. This money should be used to help make Toronto an even more attractive place to live — and to invest and create jobs. It should also help engage young people across the City who find art as exciting as many kids find sports.”
Mayor Rob Ford

“I am very pleased that Toronto’s Executive Committee passed my motion to support a plan to put real dollars into a sustainable, ongoing and accountable increase to arts funding without impacting the 2013 budget. I congratulate all the hard work by the passionate, dedicated people who have waited patiently for this increase in arts funding to reach $25 per capita.”
Councillor Gary Crawford

“These funds will enable Toronto to move forward toward our goal of a $25 per capita annual expenditure on the arts. The arts sector is a major generator of economic activity, and It is especially gratifying that we can now strengthen the sector without increasing property taxes. It’s a big win for all Toronto!”
Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee.

“This is a real victory for the arts community who, with great passion and endless tenacity, never let the issue of fair funding for the arts community escape the notice of city council. The increased funding will help put Toronto on the global map as a creative city where the work of artists is respected and adds to our quality of life.”
Councillor Joe Mihevc

“Certain truths about what makes a Great City can transcend petty politics and prevail. The Creative Community in our great City of Toronto has prevailed and Council will begin the move towards adequate funding for a vibrant and deserving community of artists, if ever there was one. We don’t need to focus on which administration enacted this move because the engaged artists and residents who made this happen held fast to their goal across decades and multiple administrations. Congrats to Devon, to Che and ever artist who stood with them along the way.”
Councillor Shelley Carroll

“The global success of our arts and cultural institutions is a testament to the talent and drive of our artists and the prescience of the private sector to recognize the benefits of investing in the arts. Imagine what Toronto will achieve once we fulfill the decade long pledges, utilize the billboard tax for its original purpose and increase per-capita arts funding to $25.”
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

“Young artists of Toronto deserve a lot of credit for changing the way this City funds the arts. Now it’s only fair and right to invest the new resources in young artists and to continue Toronto’s role as a magnet for creative people from around the world to come to pursue a career in the arts.”
Councillor Adam Vaughan

An excellent way to end the week.

So the other day I randomly asked you “Hey,  how’s your website? All updated? Content fresh? Some sort of back and forth with readers capability? Because we’re at that point where – come on. Have a website. The days of “really expensive” and “only a pro can make you one” are long gone. Get your website in order for 2013.

internet-high-fiveFor 2013 I’m going to keep asking you questions like that. A five minute thought, or something you can do in five minutes. If you see this picture on a post, it means there’s a “got five” question or suggestion or a something quick to read in that post.  Today? Go to the contact page on your website. Is it up-to-date? Any changes? Should you add a google map or times of business?
Five minutes. Go.

December 10, 2012

Linky Monday

makeupforever_44artist001I’m off to City Hall for budget deputations today – I’m number 44 on the list, so I don’t know when I’ll be back. So, not unlike the Mom who leaves you money for dinner and warns you not to watch too much TV, I present four links to keep you occupied. But no money for pizza.

The Toronto Theatre Database has now gone live! The Toronto Theatre Database is a new online project, dedicated to the recording and preservation of the production histories and performance dates of Toronto’s professional theatrical productions. It will be a hub through which professionals and fans of the Toronto theatre community can explore Toronto’s theatre past, present and future.

We should do this too. Case for culture: 100 voices – interactive

Arts leaders clashed with culture secretary Maria Miller even before George Osborne announced DCMS cuts of £12m in 2013-14 and £22m in 2014-15 in his autumn statement – here 100 people who work in or with the culture sector tell the Guardian why they think UK arts and culture are worth continued investment.

So the Sunday Read in this week’s Charlebois Post is by –  me. Enjoy!

And finally a great video by Che Kothari on the Billboard Tax. Listen up people – we want funding for arts and culture? It’s been found. Contact your councillor and let them know you want this new potential source of revenue used where and for the people who found it.

 

April 9, 2012

Reading for Easter Monday

Is it still the weekend? I’m not quite sure – some are working, some are not, I can go to the bank but not the library, you get the picture. Plus I was away for two days on my staff-retreat-of-one – which I highly recommend to small biz owners and entrepreneurs out there. More on that in another post.

So in honour of maybe you have time to read at home, and maybe you have time to read at work since you’re still in a chocolate coma, here we go –  from last week and now let’s flip through the bookmarks for things to share

What a Wonderful Thing to Come Back To  the billboard tax is happening!

The Future of Theatre  gotta love the Guardian.

I liked this article, made me do some thinking:  Emerging artist? Are you kidding yourself?The first section itself was cause for pause:

This is scary. Imagine. You’re anaesthetised on the operating table, on the cusp of unconsciousness, when in walks all scrubbed up, an emerging surgeon. Your last thought before you slip into a deep, dark sleep is “but … but … wait …”

Absurd the thought of an emerging anybody. There’s none of this wait-and-see tease to it. You are or you ain’t. To see how silly the concept is, take the word “emerging” and follow it with a job of your choice. Asinine in anyone else, but perfectly acceptable if you are an artist apparently.

Some food for thought as to how young you have to be to be emerging, how old you shouldn’t be. I remember a client of mine years ago saying, “make them stop emerging, I’m not done yet!
How long does one get to emerge for? What defines  “mid career”? When are you a “senior artist”?

Would love your thoughts on this one.

 

 

 

December 1, 2011

A Message From Friends of the Arts Re: 2012 Toronto City Budget Recommendations

Hello all,
Yes I have my own platform and today  I will use it.
By now you know that the 2012 budget recommendations include a 10% cut to arts grants. This affects you possibly directly, or possibly indirectly.  But it does affect you.
This affects the theatre company that gets the sponsorship that puts on the play  that the actor performs in that the designer designs that writes the original music that requires a program that needs the headshots that buys the advertising that takes transit to the theatre that has a drink after the show that pays the babysitter that gives the reviewer something to write about that launches the playwright’s career – and they all live in the house that art built.
I ask that you do three things:
1) read the post
2) forward, share, repost, retweet the post.
A Message From Friends of the Arts
The budget brought forward  on November 28 recommends a 10% cut to arts grants totaling $1.94 million.  Budget deputations will be heard on December 7 and 8, and the final budget will be approved by City Council on January 17.

Friends of the Arts and its 20,000 supporters from every Ward calls on all City Councillors to support sustained investment in grants to artists and arts organizations in the 2012 budget.

The impact of a $1.94 million cut (10%) to arts grants will be extremely serious for Toronto residents, arts organizations and artists while offering very little short-term savings for the City’s bottom line.  It will directly cause:

  • Reduced investment in Toronto:  for every $1 granted by the City, $17.75 is raised from other sources in support of arts organizations.  If a 10% cut were applied to Toronto’s arts organizations (large and small) it would translate into a $25 million loss of investment in Toronto, affecting jobs, performances, festivals and exhibitions.
  • Fewer arts projects in neighbourhoods across the city:  TAC currently supports 250 arts projects annually with grants totaling just over $1 million.
  • Fewer individual artists will receive support: TAC currently supports 200 individual artists including writers, composers, visual and media artists with grants totaling just over $1 million.

Over 20,000 Torontonians from every ward in the City have signed the Friends of the Arts petition, calling on Toronto City Councillors to maintain investment in the arts.

In May 2011, Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of the Creative Capital Gains report recommending increased support for the arts to $25 per capita.

The current recommendation would reduce the city’s support for the arts to just $17 per capita, much less than competitive North American cities.

Arts and culture are essential to Toronto’s economy, generating $9 billion every year. The city achieves this economic return on a relatively small arts investment.

130,000 people work in the sector – and many more depend on related businesses, including those in hospitality and tourism.

Toronto’s arts scene is a big part of what makes Toronto a great place to live, work and visit – yet Toronto invests less in the arts than other major cities; City Council has been working to change that, and it must stay the course.

—–

Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations:  Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, BeautifulCity.ca, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation, Urban Arts.

Here’s the official budget document if you’re so inclined.

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