The South Carolina arts community is bracing for Governor Haley’s veto pen. Although the 2012 state budget adopted by the House and Senate includes $1.9 million in funds for the S.C. Arts Commission, Haley is expected to veto all funding for the arts. A 2/3 majority vote from both the House and Senate is required to override her veto. Local arts organizations and artists have been urging people to be on high alert and contact legislators if Haley does go through with the veto.

A letter was recently sent to state media outlets from dozens of artists as a call to action. “The cut to arts funding that would result from this veto is unnecessary and harmful,” it reads. “The budget that the General Assembly sent to the Governor is balanced, including a modest appropriation for the arts that will produce an outstanding return on the state’s investment. We urge you to contact your South Carolina state Representative and Senator and ask them to vote against elimination of state funding for the Arts Commission.”

It also includes a quote from W. James McNerney, Jr., chairman, president, and chief executive office of the Boeing Company. “At Boeing, innovation is our lifeblood. The arts inspire innovation by leading us to open our minds and think in new ways about our lives — including the work we do, the way we work and the customers we serve.”    

The letter is signed by Marjory Wentworth, Pat Conroy, Darius Rucker, Quentin Baxter, Jonathan Green, Josephine Humpreys, Mary Alice Monroe, and many others.

Find more info on contacting legislators at the S.C. Arts Alliance website.

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