Call to Action

Making the Arts Count

The Lehigh Valley region is flush with incredible creative capital, revealed through every kind of artistic expression.  The arts count here and it’s because of people like you who: 

  • Live, work, and play in the Lehigh Valley
  • Care about how creativity impacts this community through its artists, arts administrators, arts patrons, arts educators, and its community, business, and political leaders
  • Recognize the value the arts bring to our quality of life and local economy
  • Take pride in the locally produced arts experiences that are integral to the region’s cultural infrastructure 

I emphasize people because too often the arts are defined by venues or buildings. Way more public dollars are invested in buildings rather than the people and the creative activities that inhabit those buildings.  A building does not an arts program make. 

Creative capital grows through funding. 

For its seventh year, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council recently administered the PA Partners in the Arts (2011-12) Project Stream program, a partnership initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA).  Applications for art project funding are vetted by a panel of local community members and the highest scoring applications share the available dollars. 

The PCA makes state grant dollars available to be awarded to exemplary arts projects that reach underserved audiences in Lehigh, Carbon, and Northampton Counties. For the past three years, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council received more applications per capita than any region in the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, funding for this program has been cut more than 50% in the last two years. 

Grant recipients represent the power of imagination, the strength of local pride, and the passion and commitment of individuals who work closely with their communities to create art and bring it to new audiences. 

This year the grant ceremony was supported by outstanding businesses that have long supported the arts in our community—Allen Organ, Just Born, and Air Products

Every individual and organization involved in this awards program gives testimony to the value of the arts. 

Call to action 

Ongoing funding by the state is essential to the continuation of this program and all that it does for the arts. 

Your voice is important, so please do what you can to help: 

Write your state legislator to: 

  • Thank them for their support of PCA funding
  • Let them know what the awards event and the contributions of the recipients mean to you. 

Arts advocacy requires an ongoing relationship with our elected officials. If they know the arts are important to you, you help make the arts important to them. Together, we’ll make a real difference.

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