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Support for Artists in Residence Program

April 21, 2017

Dear Friends,

Last year, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) cut funding for the Artists in Residence program by 50% in response to the Government of Alberta’s 5% cut to their budget.  The Artists in Residence program is the program that brings valuable cultural experiences into Alberta schools.  Some of the artists  school communities may have hired as part of this program are Trickster Theatre, Les Bucherons and Theatre Prospero.  Rural school boards and aboriginal communities are most at risk for losing cultural opportunities since they don’t have the same number of cultural programs as those of us in the metro regions.  In solidarity with these and our own school communities, I ask that you support the following request:  In the 2017 budget, the government of Alberta reversed the AFA cuts from the previous year and so I am requesting that you join with me in asking the Minister of Culture, Ricardo Miranda and the members of the AFA Board, to have the AFA reverse the 50% cut to the Artists in Residence program.  Three ways you could make this request is by:

  1. personally signing the following petition here, and/or
  2. writing to the AFA Executive Director Paul Pearson at Paul.pearson@gov.ab.ca and to Minister Miranda at culturetourism.minister@gov.ab.ca to let them know that you know the government reversed the AFA cuts and to ask that the 50% cut to funding of the Artists in Residence program be reversed.
  3. sharing the petition link and the email links with friends, teachers, parent councils and anyone else you believe would be interested in supporting the Artist in Residence program.

The Alberta School Boards Association supported this program by writing to Minister Miranda last school year to ask the AFA to reverse their 50% cut and by passing a policy resolution at the Fall 2016 AGM that supports arts programs in schools.  Please take a few moments to ensure the funding for this crucial arts program is reinstated.  Time is of the essence because the AFA will be making budget allocations in the next 2 weeks to their various programs.  Please write your emails asap and before May 1.  Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

ECSD Trustee Patricia Grell, Ward 71

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