Anchorage Concert Association responds to budget cuts

A letter from Anchorage Concert Association Executive Director Jason Hodges

As you may know, Alaska is facing some big budget cuts. One of those cuts is very important to Anchorage Concert Association and audiences, students and communities across the state of Alaska.

Funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts was eliminated in a line-item veto last week.

ASCA is only a $700,000 direct state expenditure, and those state funds are matched with $2.1 million in additional revenue from federal and private funds. That’s a three to one return on investment. Without ASCA, there will be fewer performing artists coming to Anchorage and other parts of Alaska.

As someone who values the arts, please call, email, or text your legislator and share how important ASCA is to you and all Alaskans. Please urge them to override the vetoes. Ask your friends to do the same.

It is possible to overturn these vetoes, but it takes 45 of 60 legislators to do so. Every voice counts in this process, and we hope you will contact the legislators who you support, particularly the ones who you may have donated to.

If we fail to overturn this veto, Alaska will become the only state in the country that doesn’t have a State Arts Agency. This is not a distinction that I nor any arts supporter in the state wishes to have.

Please make your voice heard and help save the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the vibrant arts community we have here in Alaska.

Contact information for your legislators is here. You may also use the state’s public message portal.


Alaska State Council on the Arts

Important Points

  • Arts create a vibrant and enriched community.
    • Arts benefit everyone. The line-item veto for the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) will impact people and communities across the state.
    • Anchorage Concert Association, with support from ASCA, brings artists to Alaska that wouldn’t perform here otherwise, inspiring and entertaining thousands of Alaskans.
    • Alaska would be the only state without an arts agency.
  • With this veto, fewer Alaskans will have access to performing arts
    • ASCA has been instrumental in working with Anchorage Concert Association to create statewide tours.
    • Statewide tours this season include Latingrass band Che Apalache, acoustic guitar masters International Guitar Night, fiddle sensation Eileen Ivers, and the hip hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj.
    • Unless this veto is overturned, fewer artists will come to Alaska, artists who do come will travel to fewer communities, and fewer Alaskans will be able to experience the transformative power of the performing arts.
  • Loss is not only arts agency but also 3 to 1 matching funds
    • The $700,000 veto line item loses another matching $2 million in private and federal funds.
    • Without these funds, some local arts agencies may close.

Click here for more information about the veto and how it will impact the arts statewide.

Sample Messages

If you’re wondering what to say to your legislators, here are some ideas. Vary the language and make it your own.

  • The legislature got it RIGHT when approving funds for the Alaska State Council on the Arts. That tiny investment yields a $27 to $1 return, leverages federal funds (forfeited without state money), and provides programs for Alaskan kids, communities and military families. OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore ASCA funding.
  • For about $700k – just 1-100th of 1% of all state spending - the arts can add $3.4 billion to Alaska’s economy. It’s smart math to OVERRIDE veto #27 and restore funding to the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
  • This proud Alaskan wants to preserve public funds for the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Please OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore ASCA funding: a wise choice for Alaska’s economy, for our military families and for the next generation.
  • I care about the wellbeing of Alaska military families. I care about preserving Alaska Native heritage. I care about keeping kids in school. I care about diversifying our economy. That’s why the Alaska State Council on the Arts matters to voters. OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore ASCA funding.
  • I believe in small government that’s agile, accountable and works with private partners. That’s what the Alaska State Council on the Arts delivers! Its good work and the private and federal funds it brings in will be forfeited without a state commitment. Please OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore ASCA funding.
  • If all general funds to the Alaska State Council on the Arts are vetoed, federal arts dollars that should come to Alaska will be redistributed to California, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and other states. Keep that money in Alaska! OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore ASCA funding.
  • What growth industry adds $3.4 billion to the Alaska economy while other sectors are struggling or on the decline? The arts. They’re part of the solution to what ails Alaska’s economy. OVERRIDE veto #27 to restore funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
  • Dropouts cost Alaska more than $31 million in economic growth, health care costs and dependency on the state social safety net. Disadvantaged kids who get ARTS EDUCATION are 5x more likely to stay in school. It’s smart math to OVERRIDE veto #27 and restore arts funding in Alaska.

Email addresses and phone numbers are listed for both the House and the Senate.

Thanks for lending your voice to our shared efforts to preserve the future of the arts in Alaska.