Press Room

Important Correction to Our Earlier E-mail

URGENT: Please note that the correct e-mail for County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef is:  vanderhs@co.rockland.ny.us


Dear Members of the Historical Society of Rockland County,

On Monday, September 21, 2011, C. Scott Vanderhoef,  the Rockland County Executive, addressed members of the Institute for Non-Profits of Rockland County to deliver the news that he is faced with an extremely difficult budget situation and will likely be forced to reduce funding to all contract agencies by 50% in 2012.  He further stated that non-profit Arts and Cultural contract agencies’ funding would be cut by 100% in 2012/2013.

There are numerous organizations that will be impacted by this decision.  For example:  Have you seen a show at Antrim Playhouse (perhaps you joined us this past spring for All Shook Up)?  Did you visit an exhibition or attend a class at the Rockland Center for the Arts.  During this year of Edward Hopper, did you visit the historic Hopper House in Nyack?   The list goes on and on.

Like these other wonderful cultural institutions, The Historical Society of Rockland County has been a grateful and deserving recipient of county funding over the years.  In our case, we rely on this funding to house, protect and preserve the historic artifacts that represent Rockland’s past (including our own Jacob Blauvelt house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places).  HSRC utilizes county funding to bring educational programs to all of the people of our diverse county including adults, seniors and school children.  We are able to further achieve our mission of researching, documenting, promoting and publicizing the rich historical heritage of the county for the people of Rockland through the prudent and careful use of the funding we receive from the County.  Bottom line:  Losing our county financial support will directly impact our ability to meet our mission.

The loss of this funding will have further economic impact on our community.   The Historical Society of Rockland County supports people and businesses in our community.   We are employing local folklorists and technicians to support our programs, we are hiring local artisans and artists to perform and demonstrate. Additionally, we are using local businesses to help us get the word out like local graphic designers, printers and magazines, radio and newspapers. All of these local people and businesses would suffer if this arts and cultural county funding is eliminated.

I am a very practical person; I understand that our economy is currently in a downturn and that everyone will have to sacrifice to balance the budget. I worked for many years in the private sector through re-organizations, cost-cutting and budget challenges. I also realize that we, at the Historical Society, are not doing things like feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless. However, we are providing a service that improves the quality of life for the residents of our diverse county and one that helps keep jobs in our local communities.

I hope you will join me in reaching out to Mr. Vanderhoef to let him know how you feel about his proposal to completely eliminate all funding for arts and cultural organizations.

The County Executive and his staff are currently drafting a proposed budget.  He needs to hear from you. 

Write to him:  11 New Hempstead Road, New City, NY 10956 or send an email:   vanderhs@co.rockland.ny.us  or call 845-638-5122.

Many thanks!

P.S.  The budget will go to the Legislature on October 23, therefore, it is critical that you send your comments to the County Executive as soon as possible.  Once the legislature receives his budget proposal for the coming year, we will, once again, need your help to express to our legislators the importance of funding arts and culture in our county!



REMINDER...
The Ghost Army is in it's final days -- admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.


Comments:

Unfortunately government should have no role in funding the Historical Society or other cultural institutions. Rockland County has some of the highest property taxes in the nation and Mr. Vanderhoef is correct in prioritizing government expenditures. My late uncle, a former Historical Society Trustee, left a mid-five figure gift in his will to the Society. THAT is the way the society should be funded - through donors who subscribe to its mission, not by the general taxpayer. Don't worry, since I don't live in Rockland County I won't email Mr. Vanderhoef this confirming opinion! Don Allison

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