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Potential Consequences of Oklahoma Arts Council Consolidation

Oklahoma Arts Council
Statement Regarding Consolidation

Governor Fallin’s Fiscal Year 2015 Executive Budget includes a recommendation to consolidate the Oklahoma Arts Council and four other state agencies with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Following is an excerpt from the budget:

Building on the consolidation success in other agencies with similar missions, the Governor proposes five existing agencies with tourism, recreational or cultural missions be consolidated into the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. As required and achieved in prior consolidations, this budget projects a *15 percent cost savings in appropriated dollars in the first year of the consolidation among the agencies proposed to be consolidated into OTRD, which are the Oklahoma Arts Council, Historical Society, J.M. Davis Memorial Commission, Will Rogers Memorial Commission, and Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.” - Gov. Mary Fallin

*15% of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s state appropriation equals approximately $600,000.

The Governor’s proposal to consolidate the Oklahoma Arts Council with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department would result in a net loss for the people of Oklahoma. Consolidation would erode services to the state’s arts and cultural industry and undermine Oklahoma’s ability to compete for business and a creative workforce.

Potential consequences include:

Loss of Funding

*Approximately $600,000 from the Oklahoma Arts Council budget

Loss of Accountability & Transparency

Loss of Mission

With consolidation, the following components of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s mission would be susceptible to change:

Loss of Effectiveness and Impact

A Net Loss for Oklahoma

There is no assurance that the arts will be a future priority of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation. Oklahoma is stronger with an independent Oklahoma Arts Council that is fully devoted to supporting and developing an important statewide arts industry.

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