Dear Councilmember [NAME],
Thank you for your support of the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. On behalf of [insert business name] [or begin sentence with ‘I’ if individual] I would like to express my deep appreciation for the county’s support during these turbulent times.
Montgomery County Council’s support of the arts and humanities during the economic downturn and Covid-19 recovery helped stabilize our industry and protect our workforce; however, ongoing business and event disruptions due to health and safety concerns and inflation continue to devastate our community. A recent survey from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) reports that over 50% of cultural nonprofits in Montgomery County did not meet their earned revenue (ticketing/sales) or attendance goals in the second half of 2022. While businesses have re-opened, audiences and residents remain cautious of large public events, returning to our sector more slowly than nightlife, hospitality, and retail.
Our sector must address a projected $1.1 million increase in grants demand over FY 2023 as well as complications from rising inflation and a potential new recession. These factors threaten to further destabilize our industry and increase uncertainty for both organizations and audiences.
Today, I’m asking you to continue supporting the arts and humanities in the county’s FY24 Budget to ensure an equitable recovery for our diverse cultural sector and the creative workforce we employ in Montgomery County.
Councilmember [NAME], Please: [choose one option from each bullet point]
- Allocate $1.1 million in additional funds for regranting to AHCMC above the County Executive’s FY 2024 proposal.
- Support AHCMC’s request for an additional $1.1 million budget allocation for regranting above the County Executive’s FY 2024 proposal.
- Funds support: general operating and project grant support to nonprofit organizations, individual artists and scholars, arts residencies in schools, and Wheaton cultural project grants, as well as capacity building programs and professional development opportunities for cultural organizations and practitioners.
- Support AHCMC’s request for $3.65 million in additional emergency relief for the arts and humanities from Montgomery County’s remaining American Rescue Plan funds.
- Allocate $3.65 million in additional emergency relief for the arts and humanities from Montgomery County’s remaining American Rescue Plan funds.
- This third tranche of emergency funds completes AHCMC’s FY2020 request for $10 million in emergency relief to the arts and humanities over three years beginning in FY 2021.
In support of my request, I would like to share a story about the impact of [our/my] work in Montgomery County. [insert personal story of impact or success. Consider a short testimonial that highlights the work you do and the importance your work has to residents in Montgomery County and/or other cultural practitioners. Consider the priorities of your work, the county’s work, and the people who live in Montgomery County.]
Please support the arts and humanities. An increased investment in the cultural sector is a proven investment in our economic recovery and the future prosperity of all residents in our community.
[Your Organization (if applicable)]