CAM supports appropriations in the State budget that will help California museums serve their communities. For example, CAM has advocated for increases in funding for the California Arts Council and the California Cultural and Historical Endowment. To learn how you can support increased funding for the California Arts Council, see Californians for the Arts.
CAM has taken the lead in advocating for funding CCHE's Museum Grant Program. The purpose of the Museum Grant Program is to assist and enhance the services of California's museums that undertake cultural projects that are deeply rooted in and reflective of underserved communities. This competitive grant program funds small projects in art, history, and science museums of varying sizes. Proceeds from the Snoopy Special Interest License Plate support the grant program.
Legislators Sign Letter to Address Climate Change in Museums
On August 26, 22 legislators submitted a letter asking budget leaders to allocate $125 million for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) from the $3.7 billion appropriated for climate change action. The co-signed letter, led by Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, outlined the unique role museums play in educating the public about climate change and protecting cultural collections. Thank you to the museum leaders who reached out to their legislators to encourage them to sign-on. Since 2019, CAM has been requesting $125 million to be allocated to CCHE "for projects that protect California's cultural and historic resources from climate impacts or inform the public about resiliency to climate change." The Legislature must pass a bill by September 10 and the climate change package could be announced very soon. Read the letter.
100 Museums and Legislators Support $125 Million Climate Change Request
Nearly 100 museums have joined CAM in advocating for an investment of $125 million to support climate change education and mitigation in museums and other cultural organizations. For several years, CAM has been requesting $125 million to be allocated to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment "for projects that protect California's cultural and historic resources from climate impacts or inform the public about resiliency to climate change."
On Monday, August 9, the same day a new UN scientific report was released, museum leaders joined elected officials at the iconic La Brea Tar Pits to call attention to the dire need for safeguarding vital cultural assets in the face of increasingly frequent climate-fueled disasters and the role museums play in educating the public. State Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, and Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke in support of state funding for museums to adapt to climate-related threats. “We risk losing artistic treasures and historical artifacts as the threat of rising seas, climbing temperatures, and drought-fueled wildfires ravage the state,” said California State Senator Ben Allen, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts and the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Read the press release.
State Budget Update
In June, California lawmakers passed legislation to approve a state budget that reflects new agreements with Governor Newsom. The $262.6 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1 was fueled by a $76 billion state surplus and $27 billion in federal aid. Although the Governor has signed the main budget bill, several amendments are still awaiting his signature. Overall, it looks as if there will be an historic investment of over $600 million dollars for arts, culture, and live events, in addition to tens of millions for programs/projects to specific organizations and local governments.
Some of the investments that could benefit museums include:
- $128 million to California Arts Council, which includes $40 million for Creative Youth Development, $60 million for a new CA Creative Corps Pilot program, and for local assistance programs and staffing; and
- $50 million to the Natural Resources Agency for the Museum Grant Program.
500+ Arts and Cultural Organizations Support $1 Billion Budget Ask
More than 500 arts organizations, independent venues, museums, local governments, service organizations, trade associations, and unions joined the coalition formed by California Arts Advocates (CAA), California Chapter of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA CA), and CAM to ask Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature for an unprecedented $1 billion investment in arts, culture, and creativity. The proposed stimulus and transformational investment in California’s arts and cultural sectors will help overcome the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and have a positive impact on jobs creation, the economy, and tax revenues.
On May 14, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom presented his $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the "biggest economic recovery package in California history". Although there are exciting possibilities in the Governor’s budget for artists and the creative industries, disaster planning for collections care, and marketing funds for tourism, it did not include the $1 billion budget request. Senators Ben Allen and Susan Rubio and Assemblymembers Laura Friedman, Adrin Nazarian, and Sharon Quirk-Silva are committed to the $1 billion budget proposal.
On June 14, 2021, the California Legislature passed a budget that includes several of the items proposed in the $1 billion budget request. In particular, there is $50 million in the agreement for the Museum Grant Program. Governor Newsom issued a statement that suggests that negotiations will continue to finalize the FY 21-22 budget. CAM, CAA, and NIVA CA issued the following statement:
"The California State Budget passed by the legislature on Monday represents a bold and momentous investment in the arts, culture, and creative economy. The pandemic’s impact has galvanized and united a broad coalition of arts advocates -- backed by more than 500 organizations, businesses, and local government leaders -- aligning nonprofit cultural institutions, for-profit small businesses, and the creative workforce to advocate for $1 billion for an arts recovery and stimulus investment from the State.
With the passage of the legislature’s budget, we celebrate progress toward this goal. The legislature’s proposed investment of nearly $400 million in this sector is a testament to the strength of this coalition that will survive well beyond this pandemic.
California Arts Advocates, California Association of Museums, and the California Chapter of the National Independent Venue Association thank Assembly and Senate leaders and look forward to working with them and Governor Newsom to finalize this transformational budget as we continue to advocate for a healthy and vital California arts, culture and creative economy."
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