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Below is a letter sent to State of Michigan lawmakers by Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, urging increased support for Michigan’s arts sector.

Michigan’s funding for the State of Michigan Arts and Culture Council stands far below the national average for per capita funding.

To illustrate, while Michigan makes do with $11.1 million in funding this fiscal year, states like Ohio and Minnesota boast figures of $27.3 million and $56.2 million, respectively. We spend less than $1 per person, while states like Ohio spend $2.16 or more per person on arts, culture, and things that make living in our communities worthwhile and enjoyable. This puts Michigan in a less favorable position, and compared to all other states, our ranking for arts funding is projected to drop to the 31st or 32nd lowest in the nation.

I ask that you support an increase in funding for the Michigan Arts and Culture Council at the $30 million level. This was the Council’s funding level before the 2007 budget cuts.

By increasing funding for the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, we can support a thriving arts and culture sector in Michigan. This sector acts as a catalyst for economic growth, stimulating business, boosting tourism, and widening the state’s workforce and tax base. In addition to the economic benefits, arts and culture provide educational advantages and support increased academic achievement. They enhance health and well-being, while giving Michigan a competitive edge in accessing the state’s creative potential. By increasing funding, we will see an increase in innovation and the generation of distinctive products and services.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you for your time and your commitment to ensuring the thriving future of arts and culture in Michigan.


Gretchen Gonzales Davidson

Chair, Michigan Arts & Culture Council
Member, National Council on the Arts

Interested in learning more or sharing your feedback? Contact Gretchen.