Culture Stops! is a grassroots group of artists and arts and culture supporters based in Providence Rhode Island who are behind a national day of action to draw attention to the impact of proposed federal budget cuts to the creative sector of the United States. Culture Stops! formed around the simple belief that that creative thought is the lifeblood of democracy. We know how significant this force is in all of American life – in our schools, in our businesses, in our homes – and how much our society will be damaged if we fail to honor and support the creative impulse and drive of our people.
On March 10th , 2011, cultural organizations and creative businesses - from theaters to libraries to design houses and bookstores - will stop work for eight minutes to a full eight hours in recognition of a possible future without their knowledge and services. To document the impact of this day, we ask you to sign on to this petition so our work may be fully counted and presented to Congress. Please read the accompanying letter to President Obama and members of Congress.
THE FACTS: Both the current Congressional budget and President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget call for massive reductions to, and even eradication of, a range of agencies and programs that directly seed and support creative endeavors and indirectly spur billions of dollars of additional corporate, foundation and individual philanthropy. The budget proposals call for deep cuts, or wholesale elimination, of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Arts in Education, funds for Community Development Block Grants, Pell Grants and funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. These institutions are a critical source of funding for arts and culture programs in public schools, libraries, museums and galleries, public radio and television stations and performing art venues across the country, and support the work of individual artists, designers, writers, musicians and historians.
According to Americans for the Arts, the non-profit arts industry alone generates $166.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $12.6 billion in federal income taxes.
For the organizers of Culture Stops! however, it’s not just the potential for economic devastation that is troubling, but the prospect of diminishing the vitality of American life. They maintain that funding cuts to the arts and humanities, heritage and preservation, arts education, public broadcasting, and a host of related federal programs that quietly seed and leverage investment in the creative sector will result in a crisis of our national conscience.
PLEASE SIGN ON TO PROTECT CREATIVITY, IMAGINATION AND THOUGHT!