Archive for February, 2009

Help Preserve Oregon Arts, Culture, and Humanities Funding

***ACTION ALERT from The Regional Arts & Culture Council ***

Help Preserve Oregon Arts, Culture, and Humanities Funding

If you read the newspaper and listen to broadcast media, you know that Oregon is facing one of the most significant budget shortfalls in its history. The State issued its revenue forecast on Friday. Revenue projections are now an additional $55 million over the previously announced shortfall of $800 million in the State’s General Fund. Lottery revenues are also down.

Legislators issued a “cut list” last week. It contains proposed reductions and fund sweeps for all agencies to re-balance the 2007- 09 budget, assuming an $800 million hole. This represents a serious threat to state funding for culture.

In this proposal are the following reductions in current year spending:

$211,384 cut to the Oregon Arts Commission
$350,000 cut to the Oregon Historical Society
$ 64,085 cut in lottery funds to the Office of Film and Television

Finally, and most sobering: the “funds sweep” list of Other Funds includes the recapture of $1.8 million from the permanent fund of the Oregon Cultural Trust. The $1.8 million includes $1.3 million in cultural license plate revenue generated since 2003 – plus interest.

The Cultural Trust was authorized by the Legislature in 1999 – ten years ago – to grow and stabilize funding for culture – in good times and in bad. To skim the Trust fund and re-allocate cultural license plate fees for the General Fund is a violation of trust with the buyers of the plates who assumed they were supporting Oregon culture with their purchases. To raid the fund to pay for other state services simply violates the very purpose of the Trust and the intent of the Trust’s thousands of donors: to protect and invest in Oregon’s cultural resources.

This situation is very serious. Not only are legislators dealing with a large revenue shortfall and the potential of an additional $55 million in cuts, there are efforts underway to hold k-12 school funding from further reductions.

Take Action Now.

Use the Cultural Advocacy Coalition’s website to send a message directly to your legislators. You can use one of the messages on the website – or write your own message to convey the importance of cultural funding in your city, town or county and why the Oregon Cultural Trust needs to be remain intact and taken off the fund sweep
list.

Work to re-balance the state budget is proceeding very quickly and may be completed by this weekend. Weigh in with your opinion. Click here to send a message to your legislators NOW. It will only take two minutes of your time!

Thank you.

Eloise Damrosch, Executive Director
Regional Arts & Culture Council
108 NW 9th, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97209
www.racc.org

Darius Goes West Benefit Screening – Don’t Miss it!

dairusgoeswestSome films just need to be seen, and Dairus Goes West is one of those films.

Local filmmaker and former WWeek film editor David Walker is presenting two screenings of this incredibly moving film.

Here are the complete details:

The critically acclaimed documentary Dairus Goes West returns to Portland for two very special screenings to benefit Muscular Dystrophy research.

Fifteen-year-old Darius Weems and eleven of his best friends set off across America with the ultimate goal of getting his wheelchair customized on MTV’s Pimp My Ride. Not only does Darius Weems bravely face his own inevitable fate with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), but through his unflinching humor and his extraordinary laugh, he sparks a revolution in the lives of everyone who crosses–and then shares–his courageous path. The result is a rarely seen testament to the explosive idealism of today’s youth, as well as a vivid portrayal of adventure, of brotherhood, and of the character and strength it takes to shed light on an uncertain future. Part revolution, part revelation, this film proves to people of all ages how life, even when imperfect, is always worth the ride.

Having taken top awards at over twenty film festivals in 2007 and 2008, the cast and crew of Darius Goes West is back on the road as they work to sell one million DVDs in one year. Each DVD costs $20, $17 of which goes to funding research to find a cure for DMD, the number one genetic killer of young people in the world.

Join Darius Weems, director Logan Smalley and the rest of the Darius Goes West crew for two special screenings, followed by Q&A sessions. DVDs will be available for sale after both screenings.

6:30 pm, Thursday, Feb. 19th

Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, Multicultural Center, 2nd Floor, Room 228

Free admission, donations gladly accepted.

Sponsored by Disability Advocacy & Cultural Association (DACA)

Co-sponsored by Disability Resource Center (DRC)

1 pm, Saturday, Feb 21st

Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard; (503) 281-4215

$5 adults, $2 students w/ I.D. and children 12 and under

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2yoOlicmww[/youtube]

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