IUP’s only art, literary magazine loses funding, plans to appeal budget

The only art and literary magazine at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is in danger of losing funding after its 2014-15 budget allocation was denied by the IUP Co-op Board.

The loss of funding will mean that New Growth Arts Review won’t be able to print the magazine, advertise or host the launch party, according to a petition in circulation to appeal the budget cut.

“New Growth Arts Review is the only art and creative writing magazine of IUP,” said Kathleen Sallada (senior, English), NGAR’s editor in chief. “It’s the only magazine at IUP that allows students of all majors and all GPAs to submit their artwork and their creative writing to a magazine to be published every year.”

The once-a-year publication – published at the end of each spring semester – is on its 34th volume.

“The Co-op has funded the magazine for as long as I’ve known, mostly because it is a publication run by students, produced for students and other members of the IUP community, and featuring the writing and artwork of students at IUP,” NGAR adviser and English professor Dr. Chauna Craig said in an email interview.

This year’s proposed budget would give NGAR between 500-600 bound, full-color magazines to be distributed to students, faculty and prospective students free of charge, Craig said.

Co-op Administrative Assistant Marian Stockdale informed Sallada that NGAR’s proposed budget of around $4,000 had been denied in an email Friday, March 14.

“They said they discussed the budget, and the committee members questioned the date of publication and its visibility,” Sallada said. “The members of the board, which are mostly students and two faculty members, also said they had never seen the publication.”

The board also suggested that the magazine move to an entirely digital format, eliminating printing costs, she said.

NGAR members and supporters plan to appeal the budget denial at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Knowlton Board Room of the Hadley Union Building.

“I’m relatively disappointed with their lack of consideration for how this might affect the art culture, specifically of visual art on campus and the importance of supporting its students and cultivating their professional development,” NGAR’s art editor Jarret Wasko (senior, studio art) said.

Not only is a print copy of NGAR an important professional tool for the students whose work is published, but it also acts as a significant confidence boost, Wasko said.

“Seeing my work in print,” he said, “was the most abstract and emotional importance that the magazine had for me. It inspired my self-confidence.”

Contributors to the magazine appreciate that the work they do is being put into something that they can put into a portfolio as opposed to a URL link, Sallada said.

“It is unfortunate that our Finance Committee has to make cuts,” said Student Government Association Vice President Zachery Chandler (junior, business education) in an email interview, “but we have a very limited portion of the $8.1 million Student Activity Fee that goes to student organizations.”

The Co-op Board looks at every aspect to ensure that campus organizations receiving funding are using it wisely, Chandler said.

“They wouldn’t have voted to cut something if they felt that it provided a greater benefit when compared to something else,” he said.

An exhibition is planned for early May that will showcase artwork from several artists featured in NGAR as well as poetry readings from featured poets to be held in the Sprowls Hall’s Kipp Annex Gallery, Wasko said.

The exhibition is open to everyone and will act as a great method of showcasing what NGAR contributors have been doing all year, Sallada said.

IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll recently “reiterated the importance he places on the arts in education and their significance here at IUP,” according to a March 24 article found on the Social Equity page of the IUP website.

“Seeing how the Co-op, independent of Dr. Driscoll, is acting in contradiction of the philosophy that our president wisely set is more than a little disappointing,” Wasko said.

In addition to the petition, members of NGAR are also collecting reports from alumni who have previous experience with the magazine, which they will share at Thursday’s appeal, Sallada said. The alumni reports will discuss how former members of NGAR believe their time at IUP was enriched because of it.

There has also been talk of distributing NGAR to other PASSHE schools in small quantities to share IUP’s art culture with other universities, Wasko said.

To help NGAR remain a print publication, IUP students, faculty and staff can sign the online petition at ipetitions.com/petition/keep-ngar-in-print.