PA General Assembly Establishes Arts & Culture Caucus

PA General Assembly Establishes Arts & Culture Caucus

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has taken a step to recognize and advance The Commonwealth's creative economy with the establishment of the Pennsylvania Legislative Arts & Culture Caucus. This bipartisan and bicameral caucus was established with the support of the Pennsylvania Arts & Culture Coalition, a statewide coalition that includes the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and other similar regional organizations representing the arts, culture, museums, public broadcasting, tourism and zoos.

"Arts and culture is a defining competitive advantage for Pennsylvania. With the creation of this caucus the legislature is recognizing that, in a tough economy, culture is a bright spot that educates our kids, grows our tax base and creates good jobs," explains Tom Kaiden, President of the Cultural Alliance. "In Pennsylvania, where we have a competitive advantage in culture, we need to seize it. This caucus enables us to do that."

The Pennsylvania Legislative Arts & Culture Caucus will:

Support caucus members in their efforts to draft and pass legislation that advances arts and culture in The Commonwealth,
Provide analysis on pending legislation,
Provide caucus members and their staffs with periodic briefings on pertinent issues confronting and relating to The Commonwealth's arts and culture infrastructure,
Develop issue specific talking points and press materials for caucus members to use in public and with the media, and
Provide research, education, policy development, and other support on arts and culture to the members of the General Assembly
Providing leadership for the caucus are Sen. Jay Costa (D, Allegheny County), Sen. Patrick Browne (R, Northampton/Lehigh), Rep. Stan Saylor (R, York County) and Rep. Tim Briggs (D, Montgomery County). Statewide, the caucus is currently almost evenly divided between 22 Republicans and 27 Democrats.

"I am proud and excited to be a leader in this newly formed caucus," said Rep. Briggs. "Year in and year outstate lawmakers face tough decisions during the budget process, especially when state resources are scarce. One area we should never shortchange is the arts, not only because of the positive economic impact the arts bring to Pennsylvania, but for the enhancement of our cultural experiences. Working with the arts community, this caucus will help to educate public officials from across the state on the importance of arts in education and in our communities."

Rep. Tim Briggs is a leading advocate for the arts in the legislature. He also holds an art show at his district office once a month, where he displays artwork made by local students.

To date, the following legislators have joined the Arts & Cultural Caucus (legislators from Southeastern Pennsylvania in bold):

PA Senate:

Lawrence M. Farnese, 1st District - D, Philadelphia County
Christine Tartaglione, 2nd District - D, Philadelphia County
Shirley M. Kitchen, 3rd District - D, Philadelphia County
Vincent Hughes, 7th District - D, Philadelphia County
Dominic Pileggi, 9th District - R, Chester and Delaware Counties
Judith Schwank, 11th District - D, Berks County
Lisa Boscola, 18th District - D, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton Counties
Bob Mensch, 24th District - R, Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton Counties
Edwin Erickson, 26th District - R, Chester and Delaware Counties
Richard Alloway, 33rd District - R, Adams, Franklin & York Counties
John Wozniak, 35th District - D, Cambria, Clearfield, Clinton, Somerset Counties
Wayne Fontana, 42nd District - D, Allegheny County
John C. Rafferty, 44th District - R, Berks, Chester and Montgomery Counties
Sean Wiley, 49th District - D, Erie County

PA House:

Jim Marshall, 14th District - R, Beaver County
Erin Molchany, 22nd District - D, Allegheny County
Dan Frankel, 23rd District - D, Allegheny County
Rick Saccone, 39th District - R, Allegheny and Washington Counties
Ryan Aument, 41st District - R, Lancaster County
R. Lee James, 64th District - R, Butler and Venango Counties
Mike Fleck, 81st District - R, Blair, Huntingdon and Mifflin Counties
Rick Mirabito, 83rd District - D, Lycoming
Ron Miller, 93rd District - R, York County
P. Michael Sturla, 96th District - D, Lancaster
Patty Kim, 103rd District - D, Dauphin County
Lynda Schlegel Culver, 108th District - R, Northumberland and Snyder Counties
David Millard, 109th District - R, Columbia County
Tina Pickett, 110th District - R, Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna Counties
Sandra Major, 111th District - R, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming Counties
Sid Michaels Kavulich, 114th District - D, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties
Karen Boback, 117th District - R, Columbia, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties
Phyllis Mundy, 120th District - D, Luzerne County
Eddie Day Pashinski, 121 District - D, Luzerne County
Robert Freeman, 136th District - D, Northampton Counties
Marguerite Quinn, 143rd District - R, Bucks County
Mark Painter, 146th District - D, Montgomery County
Tim Briggs, 149th District - D, Montgomery County
Thomas Murt, 152nd District - R, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties
Duane Milne, 167th District - R, Chester County
Brendan Boyle, 170th District - D, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties
Michael H. O'Brien, 175th District - D, Philadelphia County
Scott Petri, 178th District - R, Bucks County
Brian K. Sims, 182nd District - R, Philadelphia County
Rosita C. Youngblood, 198th District - D, Philadelphia County
Vanessa Lowery Brown, 190th District - D, Philadelphia County
Mark B. Cohen, 202nd District - D, Philadelphia County

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