2019 Letter to Policymakers
John W. Bateman
As a public charity that receives grants through government agencies, SAAC recently sent this letter to various state and federal lawmakers for the Golden Triangle Region. We now share this message with the community who benefits from this funding.
Arts funding from taxpayer resources is a tremendously significant investment. Not only does funding improve educational opportunities, but it also promotes economic growth by sustaining Mississippi’s tremendous, diverse cultural heritage. SAAC is extraordinarily grateful for grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Development Authority, which are supported by legislative and policy efforts. Thank you for your support of these two agencies.
Mississippi Development Authority supports efforts that promote tourism. For SAAC, this includes grants to publicize events like Cotton District Arts Festival and Forks & Corks.
The Mississippi Arts Commission provides critical general support that SAAC uses to create access to art and art education programs. When one-third of Oktibbeha County lives in poverty, access is vital. Here are selected programs supported by MAC funding:
Although SAAC does not run a film festival, we are aware of the tremendous adverse economic impact created across Mississippi due to changes in the film incentive program. Proposed legislation has recently passed each chamber of the state legislature to reinvigorate this incentive, which reduced in 2017 under a sunset provision. That sunset created a devastating and unnecessary economic impact, as shown by the Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program Applications (2016-18):
Please continue to support efforts to bring jobs (and spending) back to Mississippi with a renewed, meaningful incentive program. Bipartisan support for this effort underscores the fact that many of you and your colleagues are fully aware of this issue.
Thank you for your service and support of the arts, the Mississippi Arts Commission, and Mississippi Development Authority.
If you wish to contact any state representative or senator during session, please visit www.legislature.ms.gov and click on "Legislators" to find contact information.
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