Monday, April 11, 2016

Regarding DCCAH's FY17 Budget

A #DCArts PSA:

Today is the DC Council's FY17 Budget Hearing for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The numbers again (becase as of this post, it's still not updated on the DC Advocates for the Arts website)?

FY15 Actual - $14,555,386
FY16 Approved - $15,955,248
FY17 Proposed - $15,534,436

From Part 1, beginning on page 336 or B-85, here:

Of particular note regarding increases and decreases in the agency's submitted budget, and enhancements and reductions in the Mayor's proposed budget, are the following excerpts:

*Agency Budget Submission*
Increase: The budget proposal in Local funds reflects a net increase of $672,375 and 8.0 FTEs across
multiple programs. This adjustment redirects funding from budget allocations for contractual services as
DCCAH transfers certain operational responsibilities that are currently carried out by contractors to
agency employees. Additional funding is also proposed in Local funds in support of DCCAH’s
sponsorship and marketing activities, and this accounts for an increase of $257,619.
In Federal Grant funds, an increase of $7,500 aligns budget with projected grant awards from the Arts
in Underserved Communities and Arts Education grants. This adjustment supports DCCAH’s operations
in the Arts Learning and Outreach and Arts Building Communities programs. In Intra-District funds, the
proposed budget includes an increase of $93,000 to the Arts Learning and Outreach and Arts Building
Communities programs. This adjustment is based on a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with
the Department of Employment Services in support of the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment
Decrease: The budget in Local funds is proposed for a decrease of $108,561, based on DCCAH’s plan to
move certain contractual services in-house, thereby eliminating the associated contractor service fees. A
decrease of $897,116 across multiple programs in Local funds accounts for reduced funding allocations
for DCCAH’s diverse range of sub-granting activities that support practicing artists, arts organizations
and community groups.
In Special Purpose Revenue Funds, the proposed budget is reduced by $300,000 to align funding with
projected revenue.

*Mayor’s Proposed Budget*
Enhance: DCCAH’s proposed budget in Local funds reflects an increase of $91,301 in funding to the
Agency Management program to support an additional 1.0 FTE that enables the agency to establish a
General Counsel position to meet its increased legal services volume.
Reduce: The budget in Local funds is decreased by $312,613 from the Arts Building Communities and
Arts Learning and Outreach Programs to account for projected programmatic cost savings in nonpersonal

If you can't make it, you can still tune in and watch live here:

Saturday, April 09, 2016

On Street Harrasment and Speaking Up

This is reposted from a Facebook post.

Facebook: What's on your mind?

Me: Glad you asked. If you've seen either of my last two videos, street harrassment and a culture of consent (thank you Burning Man Global Leadership Conference) are top of mind right now.

Let me just say that I personally think that we do have a right to say hello to each other in public spaces.  I'd say where the line was drawn last night is that we do NOT have the right to expect and receive a response.

Last night a gentleman didn't receive one after multiple attempts to engage a woman waiting for a cab. So I spoke up, and not for her, but as witness to her and the situation. I know women can speak up for themselves. At the same time, I can only imagine how hard it is to want to say No but not, because even THAT is a response that can actually encourage further harassment, so the safest thing to do might be to do and say nothing.

And I certainly appreciate the expression of concern from friends, and am seriously thinking about taking self-defense classes. But my concern for the lady simply feeling safe and knowing she wasn't alone trumped my own feeling of safety, not that I ever felt unsafe. We were right in front of a bar we had just exited, and staff was right inside still closing and cleaning up.

I will say while I've been accused of not being a native Washingtonian, I've never been called a "leader of gentrification" or "the biggest contributor to black-on-black crime", the latter of which I didn't even realize was potentially a veiled threat until friends asked me to simply be safe. But those and other attempted insults, including calling out my perceived sexuality, only reinforced how absurd this conversation was in the first place.

On the latter though, I found it ironic that in saying women felt safer around gay men, he implied that straight men by nature are predatory and/or don't make women feel safe...not helping his point at all.

I guess my only thought is that while silence on her part was an attempt to not engage, does silence on the part of people nearby condone the behavior, at least when in public spaces? I understand the concern for personal safety, but again, if that's what we feel as a passerby, what must the person who's the object of that attention feel. Not saying there's a right answer, but I can't stop asking the question.

Anyway, personally I will be looking more into the work of Collective Action for Safe Spaces. If you haven't heard of them, it's an organization "working to empower people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault."

And if you have your own story to share, maybe we should make a night of it, to raise awareness and keep the conversation going.