Senator Serrano and Assemblyman Englebright Hold Joint Meeting to Discuss Budget Cuts to Arts and Culture

José M. Serrano

February 24, 2010

(Albany, NY)- In his continued commitment to the arts and living museums, as well as to openness and transparency in government, today Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx), along with Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D- Setauket), Co-chaired a Joint Committee Meeting on Arts Day 2010 to discuss the devastating cuts to cultural organizations in Governor David A. Paterson's proposed budget.

"I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished here today," said Senator Serrano. These are areas that are often neglected when it comes to funding, and the testimony we heard inspires us to continue working so that it’s possible for New Yorkers to receive the quality cultural programming they deserve."

The lawmakers heard testimony (both live and via YouTube) from groups advocating for Arts , Tourism, Living Museums, Arts Economic Development, Arts Education, Museums, and the Performing Arts.

Last year's innovative Arts Day Joint Committee Meeting featured YouTube testimony for the first time in the history of the New York State Legislature. Today, Senator Serrano once again used technology as a vehicle of connecting the community to its lawmakers by "Live Tweeting" from the Arts Day Committee Meeting.

After The Coalition of Living Museums spoke about the importance of Zoos, Botanical Gardens, and Aquariums, a Red Tailed Hawk "flew in," despite heavy snows. Another Arts Day highlight was a performance by Heidi Skok, a renown Opera singer who delighted attendees.

"It’s imperative that supporters continue to speak on this issue," said Serrano. "The Governor’s budget poses significant cuts for Arts and Culture organizations, and we must ensure that these cuts do not become a reality."