City Council Speech – 2017

City Council Speech – 2017

City of Savannah, City Council Meeting, Thursday, December 7, 2017


(Start at 1:54 during the Budget’s 1st Readings for an industry-wide response to arts and culture funding)


Mr. Mayor.   City Council.

Happy holidays to you and your families.

My name is Patrick Kelsey, and I represent the Arts and Culture Alliance of Chatham County.

About one year ago, I stood in this spot asking for your reconsideration of the proposed budget cuts to arts and culture.  After a lot of input from the public, you restored funding for 2017. 

Honestly, I planned to repeat the message here today, but that changed last Friday when you rejected the proposed arts and culture budget cuts and reinstated them. 

On behalf of all those directly impacted and the entire arts and culture community, thank you. 

I truly hope the funding you have made available for arts and culture service contracts using the recommendations from your appointed Cultural Affairs Commissioners will provide a great return on investment in 2018, and beyond.

I’ll add that in August of this year you affirmed the role of arts and culture as valuable – both intrinsically and extrinsically –  to the City of Savannah when you added the arts and culture sector to Savannah Forward’s list of sectors contributing to a resilient economy.  That did not go unnoticed. 

Today, with the inclusion of the 2018 arts and culture budget allocations, you have only reinforced the clear and direct message that the City of Savannah sees the arts and culture industry as good business and a great investment.

During 2018, I hope that we, as a sector, can partner with the City of Savannah – and Chatham County, I’ll add – to promote and advance the arts and culture sector.  This being for the betterment of economic impact, job growth, quality of life, education, and overall community creativity. Finally, with your continued support, we find ourselves in 2025 having exceeded the goals and objectives as outlined in Savannah Forward.

Thank you.