How Would You Like To See Your State Tax Dollars Spent?

Randall ForteArts advocacy requires an ongoing conversation with both our elected and appointed government officials. Since negotiations for the state budget have stalled, it’s time for citizens to help to set priorities. Let the Commonwealth’s current budget impasse prompt you to contact them and remind them with a personal story of how much the arts mean to you and your family.

A father wrote to me about the sensory-friendly performance of a children’s play attended by his child with autism. They thanked Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre for their effort to understand the daily challenges faced by families like theirs. “Our son may not have the chance to do so many things in life that others do,” they said. “It was a very special day.”

A thriving arts community does not exist in isolation. While engagement in the arts affects people in deeply quiet ways, the arts experience can unite us around shared values:

  • We believe that everyone in the Lehigh Valley deserves access to our rich diverse arts culture.
  • We take pride in locally produced arts experiences; they are integral to the region’s cultural infrastructure.
  • We realize that the arts are essential to our economic vitality and quality of life.

The Lehigh Valley is the third largest region in the state; it deserves recognition and its equal share of reallocated state tax dollars. An individual story sends a powerful message. Many stories command attention.

Randall Forte
Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Arts Council

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Extra Money For Distressed Schools Proposed In Bill

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sixteen financially distressed school districts across Pennsylvania, including the Reading School District, could soon be getting a bit of extra help.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a school funding bill Friday that includes extra money for school districts facing financial disasters.

The bill was expected to be considered by the full Senate today. If approved, it would mean an extra $3.7 million for Reading.

Reading is the only Berks County school that would qualify for extra funds.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=396446