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.