The New York State Budget proposed by Governor David Paterson this week eliminates funding for The Egg, by far my favorite venue for live music in the Capital Region. I’ve volunteered as an usher at The Egg for several years now, and I can’t begin to count the number of fabulous shows I’ve enjoyed there. These come to mind off the top of my head: David Byrne, Brian Wilson, Ray Davies, Ani DeFranco, Lyle Lovett, Ben Folds, The Tragically Hip, Gregg Allman – and that’s just within the past year!
This afternoon the staff at The Egg sent out an e-mail SOS asking volunteers to write or e-mail Governor Paterson and other legislators asking that this funding be restored, and I decided to pass the information along on my blog. The proposed budget contains many disastrous cuts; health care and education are especially affected. Support for the performing arts may appear lower on the list of priorities, but our lives would be bleak indeed without them. The presence of an adventurous venue like The Egg adds immeasurably to the quality of life in the Capital region.
As a volunteer, I enjoy most of these concerts for free. Nonetheless, last spring I was so knocked out by the quality of the programming that I became a paying member of The Egg as well. (This enables me to get first dibs on tickets to newly announced shows, too, in case I want to guarantee myself a seat, kick back and enjoy the concert as a paying patron for a change.)
Other arts organizations that receive my modest donations include the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Arts Center of the Capital Region, and WEXT-FM, aka EXIT 97.7, the alternative rock station that operates under the auspices of the classical station WMHT.
Don’t just pay lip service to the arts – support them in every way you can.
To read the appeal from The Egg, including contact information, please click below.