The Impact of Arts, Culture and Tourism Advocacy Day
Our thanks to all who attended Arts, Culture and Tourism Advocacy Day on April 8! Over two hundred arts and tourism advocates attended the event! One of the best ways to show our legislators that their constituents support the arts is to show up in large numbers for events like this. If their voters care, they’ll care!

Among the accomplishments of the day, a unanimous vote to change the name of the legislative Tourism Caucus to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Caucus was a significant achievement for our industry. The name change recognizes the important impact that arts and culture, along with tourism, have on our state.

As our members and followers well know, Connecticut’s arts and culture industry is important in generating tourism dollars from local and out-of-state audiences, with 69% of visitors coming for arts and cultural offerings. Not including the cost of a ticket, state residents spend an additional $23.78 on average and visitors spend $49.78 per person in our state. (See Americans for the Arts Arts & Economic Prosperity 5  study for more statistics.)

Clearly, collaboration among the arts, culture and tourism benefits us all. By uniting in advocacy and agreeing how tourism dollars should be spent, we are stronger together—especially with a new Administration keenly focused on collaboration, efficiencies, job creation, and economic growth.

A list of the Arts, Culture and Tourism Caucus members is on our website here . ( You can find your own legislators here .) Please thank your legislators who are on the caucus already, and encourage those who are not to join!
Take This ONE Advocacy Step NOW
There are a handful of bills and issues that CAA is following and we urge you to follow as well, because they impact the arts sector.  You can learn about them here .

We know you are very busy, so IF YOU DO ONLY ONE THING, please consider reaching out to one or more of your state legislators in support of H.B. 7307 because, if it passes, it will have a broad and lasting impact on the arts and our state .

Here’s an example of what you can say to your legislator about H.B. 7307:
I encourage you to vote in support of  H.B. 7307 concerning Deposits to and Allocations of Funds in the Tourism Fund.

I am in favor of this bill because its approach will: 

  • increase the return on investment that the arts and tourism have proven to provide for the state (for every $1 spent on the arts by CT, $7 in economic activity - including state and local revenues - is generated; and for every $1 spent on tourism by CT, $3 of economic activity - including state and local revenues - is generated)
  • restore state pride for current residents and businesses
  • enhance experiences and improve our quality of life
  • revitalize our cities and towns and create vibrant communities
  • raise CT's profile and attract new visitors, talent, businesses and families

This bill includes: 

1. allocating 25% of the existing Lodging Tax revenue into the Tourism Fund
(an increase of approximately $20M compared to current allocation of 10% - this change does not impact lodging tax rates)

2. dedicating 60% of the fund to Tourism and 40% to Arts & Culture

The bill, however, should be amended   to include a name change   for the fund to accurately represent the purpose of the fund. The fund’s name should be "Arts, Culture, and Tourism Fund.”

Passing this bill: 

  • Will provide predictable and sustainable funding to ACT which will exponentially increase jobs and the economy while investing in community revitalization that will have neighborhood impact
  • Does not increase overall state spending but shifts $19M from the general fund to ACT Fund
  • Generates $150 million in tax revenue, based on $3 to $1 ROI for tourism and $7 to $1 ROI for arts and culture
  • Would increase Connecticut's competitiveness with bordering states that spend a combined $86M dollars on tourism marketing and invest nearly twice what Connecticut does in the arts on a per capita basis
 
Thank you for considering this and for all you do as our legislator.

Sincerely,
[your name, town, organization your work or volunteer for]
Give it a try THIS WEEK, and encourage others to do so too. Remember, legislators have to hear from a number of us on an issue to realize how important it is.

Please share this newsletter with staff, board and other volunteers as well!