This is Katrina from SFJB writing. I got the OK to air my grievances about my letter to the editor in the Argus Leader that was printed today.
I understood when submitting that there might be some edits and cuts, but I feel they took out my most important points and also made a few changes that altered the implications of my ideas.
Click here to read their version.
Here is my original letter:
Governor Rounds set goals in the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending and develop SD’s quality of life as one of the best in the nation. Without the foundation of the South Dakota Arts Council, how will these goals be met? Cultural tourism revenues and the creation and development of vibrant, creative, economically progressive communities is a residual effect of government support of the arts.
I was one of those Gen-Xers that wanted to get away from the rural life of South Dakota as soon as I graduated from SDSU. That was, until I discovered that I could find a career in the arts here.
I’ve worked for a non-profit arts organization for the last eight years that receives a grant from the South Dakota Arts Council. Each time my organization produces an event our patrons and vendors positively impact the state through sales tax revenues.
A report from Americans for the Arts shows that as of January 2008, South Dakota is home to 1,287 arts-related businesses that employ 6,368 people and it is estimated that these businesses and arts workers create a local economic impact of $48 million.
The foundation that the SD Arts Council provides my organization keeps one more young person in this state to pay taxes, buy a home and start a family.
My life is a microcosm of the trickle-down effect of how funding the SD Arts Council benefits our communities.
I’m tired of the argument that funding the arts is frivolous and meaningless. Ideas like this are millions of miles away from the reality of how government funding of the arts truly does benefit us all, not only intrinsically, but in regard to our economy.