Dear Councilmember [NAME],
Thank you for your past support of the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. I would like to express my deep appreciation for all you have done and continue to do for our sector. During the recent economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council has remained supportive of the cultural sector. Your support and emergency funding helped us all tremendously in 2020 and in these early months of 2021, but the business and event restrictions that remain in place continue to devastate our community. Even at 25% capacity many organizations and individuals remain incapable of opening and successfully operating in Montgomery County.
Today, I’m asking you to continue your support for the arts and humanities in the FY22 Budget to ensure an equitable recovery for our sector and the diverse creative workforce we employ.
- Support the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County’s (AHCMC) request for an additional $1.25 million budget allocation totaling $6,957,506 for regranting and administration.
- This funding request is based on increased demand from the field, an expanding pool of grantees, and the continued negative impact to our sector from Covid-19 restrictions.
- The 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 $3.33 million in relief funds annually for FY 2021, FY 2022, & FY 2023 from the $203 million in relief funding received by the county through the federal American Rescue Plan
The arts and humanities are a $198 million industry in Montgomery County. Once operational, our sector will remain integral to our local economic recovery and enhance the quality of life for all residents.
County-wide our arts and humanities programs serve 3.4 million annual attendees—including local families, school children, seniors, tourists and residents—support 4,226 local jobs, and deliver $18 million in local and state tax revenue; however, the pandemic has inflicted an estimated $48 million in damage to our sector and the closure of our venues has removed a projected $57 million in additional local spending from the economy since March 12, 2020. We need your help.
Please support the arts and humanities. An investment in the cultural sector is a proven investment in our economic recovery and future prosperity.