A note from General Director Evan Luskin:
You have probably heard about the budget shortfall which the state of Missouri is facing. Proposed expenditures for the coming year total over 8 billion dollars, but revenues fall 1 billion dollars short of footing the bill. Obviously, cuts need to be made, and I have been expecting a cut in the Missouri Arts Council funds which will affect the Lyric Opera. It is only fair that the arts shoulder their fair share of the budgetary shortfall. I had not, however, anticipated that the State Senate would propose zeroing out the Arts Council for the coming year!
As opera supporters, you and I attend and support the opera because we love the art form. I understand that Jefferson City must make its decisions on something more tangible than our love for great art. In fact, the arts in Missouri are a business, and are significant employers and provide tax dollars which contribute to state revenues.
The Lyric Opera is a $4.5 million business. Most of the money we spend stays in our community. More than half the budget goes into payrolls, providing the means by which individuals support themselves and their families and pay taxes. The arts attract tourists throughout the region who come to Kansas City and eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores, generating additional revenue for the state. While the arts community understands the necessity of making cuts, we believe that eliminating all state support is just plain bad business.
The members of the State Senate’s Appropriations Committee need to know that arts funding matters to you. While you understand that the arts budget must be cut, you believe it does not make good business sense to eliminate it completely. Please phone or email the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee today. Just a brief email which states “Don’t zero out the Missouri Arts Council. The arts are good for the economy” would let the Senators know where citizens stand.
Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee
Senator Rob Mayer Rob.Mayer@senate.mo.gov
Senator Tom Dempsey email@example.com
Senator Chuck Purgason firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Frank Barnitz Frank.Barnitz@senate.mo.gov
Senator Joan Bray email@example.com
Senator Timothy Green firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Yvonne Wilson Yvonne.Wilson@senate.mo.gov
The following senators prefer not receiving emails. You may reach their offices through the capitol switchboard at 573-751-2000:
Senator Kurt Schaefer, Senator Jim Lembke, Senator David Pearce
Thank you for your support!