Posts Tagged ‘montgomery county’

Advocacy Potluck Gets Big Turnout

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Thank you, Montgomery County, for the great turnout for AHCMC’s annual Advocacy Potluck. This year, over 50 arts and humanities advocates prepared and shared a meal with six of the nine County Councilmembers, including Council President Berliner, Craig Rice, Nancy Floreen, Marc Elrich, Phil Andrews, and Hans Reimer. Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro sent regrets that they could not attend this year.

I’ve been at AHCMC nearly seven years now and I’m still impressed with the upbeat advocacy platform of this event. Volunteers flood the room with great tasting food. The room rings with laughter and conversation. And Councilmembers always show up (is there a Pavlovian aspect to this?).

Council President Berliner’s welcoming remarks were complimentary to the cultural community. A supporter of the arts and humanities as well as the green movement, Mr. Berliner was the motivation behind AHCMC’s creation of the Non-Profit Energy Alliance, which is currently saving 50 non-profits nearly $400,000 in energy costs. Mr. Berliner reminded everyone that we’re at the beginning of the budget discussion and that the County’s budget could still be affected by the State. But even that reality check didn’t dampen the enthusiasm in the room.

After the Potluck, advocates filed into the 3rd floor Council Hearing Room for testimonies. AHCMC submitted three testimonies this year: two in person and one in writing. Click on the names below to see testimonies by:

Suzan Jenkins, CEO of AHCMC, How the arts and humanities enrich Montgomery County’s community

Bethany Mattocks, Marketing Manager of CVB, How the arts and humanities in Montgomery County spur tourism

Business owner, Gary Skulnik. How the arts and humanities foster creative business

CEO Podcast: Montgomery County’s FY13 Operating Budget

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Listen to the latest podcast about how the FY13 recommended operating budget affects the arts and humanities:

Hi everyone, this is Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council and I’m please to report that the County Executive’s proposed budget calls for the appropriation of $3,286,700 to the Arts and Humanities Council for fiscal year 13. That’s level funding from FY12, and we’re very, very pleased about that.

In the context of what’s happened to many other agencies over the past years, this is really good news. In this budget, he seeks to strategically restore funding that was previously slashed to the libraries, public safety officers and social service agencies. He’s also recommended $50,000 for the management and maintenance of the Public Arts Trust in the Recreation budget, restoring about 36% to the previously zeroed out PAT budget. That’s good news all the way around.

First and foremost, I want to thank YOU for your support. I also want to thank my staff who serve as tireless cultural warriors behind the scenes to make the case for, and to help justify, our budget requests.

But the work’s just begun! Knowing what we know about the state’s need to address maintenance of effort and pensions, we know that some rocky roads may lie ahead. So now it’s time to make certain the County Council supports the County Executive’s recommendation – we can take nothing for granted.

Here are three action steps for you. You’ll also find these listed on our website just below this podcast:

1. Contact the County Executive and say thanks for recommending level funding.
2. Get connected. Sign up for AHCMC’s E-Advocacy Alerts, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. Social media and digital correspondence are our primary means of communicating with you. Whenever you see an email from us with “Advocacy Alert” in the subject line, you’ll know we’ve got news for you or we’re coordinating an advocacy action.
3. Stay tuned for our advocacy campaign. Our staff, with the advice of volunteers from the field, are developing an advocacy campaign and slogan over the next week. This is the message we’ll use as we meet with County Councilmembers to ask for level funding in FY13.

So again, thanks for ALL you do. It is highly important and greatly impactful. Onward and upward, happy spring and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming hearings Take good care, peace.

Visit our Take Action page now for a sample letter to County Executive Leggett and other resources.

Patch Up Your Network: A Summary of Patch + Cultural Community Mixer

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

On Monday, September 19, 2011, we hosted the Patch + Cultural Community Mixer at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. It was a diverse crowd of people, with representatives from many local organizations in attendance along with Patch editors from local sites in Montgomery County.

What exactly is Patch? Before I go any further, I will take a second to fill you in. And who can say it better than Patch themselves?

“Simply put, Patch is a new way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you. We’re a community – specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities.” Each county has multiple Patch Editors dedicated to different areas. Each editor values feedback from organizations and individuals to help Patch grow and help give back to their surrounding communities. To learn more, visit

At our event on Monday, we had Patch Editors from Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Colesville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, North Potomac-Darnestown, Potomac, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park. After registering and mingling, our guests had an opportunity to take part in a speed networking activity led by our CEO, Suzan. It was interesting, with some very thought provoking questions like, “If you could do one thing at your current position and you knew you couldn’t fail, what would it be?”

Following speed networking were Meet the Editor Appointments, a chance for attendees to get to know the Patch Editors of the regions of the most interest to them.

With guests and editors staying through (and some after) clean-up, I’d say that the mixer was a success! Thanks again to Patch for sponsoring the event and to The Writer’s Center for hosting!