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Gov. DeSantis has vetoed ALL funding for the arts in Florida - How you can help now!

Gov. DeSantis has vetoed all funding for the arts, and now more than ever, arts organizations in Orlando, and throughout Florida need your help.

Gov. DeSantis has vetoed ALL funding for the arts in Florida - How you can help now

In a devastating move, Florida Governor DeSantis has reduced state funding for the arts and culture to $0, cutting off a vital $32 million dollars worth of support to arts organizations across Florida.


Effective July 1, this unprecedented cut by the Governor leaves no funding to support the arts, and has far-reaching economic impacts to arts and culture organizations throughout the state, with many now facing a financial black hole in their finances, which will sadly lead to programming cuts, staff being laid off, or at worst closure.


Here in Orange County, arts organizations, including Orlando Museum of Art, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, United Arts of Central Florida, Enzian Theater, Orlando Fringe, Orlando Science Center, and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra have lost $1.95 million in funding.


As an example, both Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Orlando Family Stage have suddenly, and without notice, lost $150,000 each in grant support, and will have to cut expenses, look for ways to increase revenue, or even cut performances.


Theatre South Playhouse has lost $25,000 in funding, and are hosting a benefit concert to help replace the budgeted funds which were to help the group present their Fall 2024 season.


Why has this happened? Well, according to Gov DeSantis, he vetoed the $32 million dollars worth of arts funding as many taxpayers would find it objectionable, attributing the cutting of arts funding in Florida, to "The Fringe Festival," incorrectly referring to the Orlando International Fringe Festival as a sexual festival.


DeSantis commented, “You have tax dollars being given in grants to things like the Fringe Festival, which is a sexual festival where they’re doing all this stuff,” he said. “I can’t sell the Fringe Festival to taxpayers, nor would I want to try to sell the Fringe Festival to taxpayers.”


In response to Gov DeSantis unfairly blaming the Orlando International Fringe Festival for cutting funding to the arts throughout the state, Orlando Fringe commented, "“In referring to the fringe as a "sexual" festival, he incorrectly characterized our festival and misrepresented our contributions to the arts community, locally, nationally and internationally.”


As the longest-running Fringe Festival in the United States, Orlando Fringe produces art across diverse genres including theatre, dance, music, puppetry. circus, as well as children's programming and visual arts, and hile some taxpayers might question $32 million dollars in funding for the arts, it should be noted that according to an 'Americans for the Arts' study, Florida’s arts and cultural industry is worth nearly $6 billion in economic benefits to the state each year, which includes $2.9 billion by nonprofit arts and culture groups, and supports over 91,000 full-time jobs throughout the state.


The benefit of the arts in our society far outweighs the $32 million dollars worth of support to arts organizations across Florida from the state.


The arts in Florida is not a luxury, the arts are an important part of our thriving, dynamic, and inclusive community, and why it is so important to support and invest in our arts and cultural organizations.



HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW

As arts and culture groups look to exploring alternative fundraising strategies, you can help now, with many ways to support the arts in Orlando, and throughout Central Florida.


You can make a donation, or become a supporter, with many organizations offering memberships with discounted tickets, invitations to special events, and more.


Companies who have not done so already, should consider becoming a corporate sponsor, plus, one of the best ways to help is by purchasing tickets and going to a show!


You can also make your feelings known directly to Gov DeSantis, tell him why the arts and culture is important to you, and to the community.


You can contact Gov DeSantis directly by using this form: https://www.flgov.com/email-the-governor/ or you can call (850) 717-9337.


LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS LOOKING FOR HELP

Now more than ever arts organizations need your help, and we have listed the local groups that are looking for help right now. Please do all you can do to help.



Gov. DeSantis has vetoed ALL funding for the arts in Florida - How you can help now!

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