City Cuts Funding for Arts Groups

by ekramer on December 1, 2008

Many arts organizations are among those affected by the budget cuts announced today by Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has details.

To help close a $20 million shortfall in the city budget, Mayor Abramson is cutting city contributions to 26 arts groups. The groups will receive 50 percent of the funding that the city had planned to give for the current fiscal year.

The Fund for the Arts received the largest hit, with a funding cut of $112,500.

The Kentucky Opera will receive half of the $55,000 it was promised, says the organization’s general director David Roth.

“Any further changes are going to require structural changes to programming on our subscription series as well as our educational outreach,” Roth says.

Many local arts groups have faced sizable declines in support from the city since Louisville merged with Jefferson County in 2003.

Also on this list are Stage One and Broadway at Iroquois, which recently changed its name from Music Theatre Louisville. Together, the two will get $12,500 less than promised.

Peter Holloway is the producing artistic director for both organizations.

“In tough economic times, every little bit hurts so, you don’t want to take a $10 or $15,000 hit on your fundraising,” Halloway says.

Holloway says Broadway at Iroquois decided last week to move from its home at Iroquois Theater to the Kentucky Center to reduce expenses.

Actors Theatre of Louisville had budgeted much of the $70,000 it was to receive for educational programs. The theater is looking to reduce costs now that it will receive only half of that.

Jennifer Bielstein is Actors Theatre’s managing director.

“I think all of the arts organizations will have to look at reduced programming, with doing fewer productions or fewer services than they typically offer,” Bielstein says.

Here is a complete list of the cuts.
Actors Theatre of Louisville, Inc. — $70,000 reduced to $35,000
Arts Council of Louisville, Inc. — $22,500 reduced to $11,250
Bunbury Reperetory Theatre Company — $18,000 reduced to $9,000
Creative Diversity Studio, Inc. — $5,000 reduced to $2,500
Fund for the Arts, Inc. — $225,000 reduced to $112,500
Historic Homes Foundation, Inc. — $3,000 reduced to $1,500
J.B. Speed Art Museum — $10,000 reduced to $5,000
Kentucky Center for the Arts Endowment Fund, Inc. — $15,000 reduced to $7,500
Kentucky Dance Council, Inc. — $48,750 reduced to $24,375
Kentucky Opera Association, Inc. — $55,000 reduced to $27,500
Kentucky Public Radio, Inc. — $37,500 reduced to $18,750
Kentucky Shakespears Festival, Inc. — $40,000 reduced to $20,000
Kentucky Theater Project, Inc. — $13,000 reduced to $6,500
The Louisville Orchestra, Inc., — $220,000 reduced to $110,000
Louisville Youth Choir, Inc. — $5,000 reduced to $2,500
Louisville Youth Orchestra — $2,000 reduced to $1,000
Music Theatre of Louisville, Inc. — $10,000 reduced to $5,000
Owsley Brown Frazier Historical Arms Museum Foundation, Inc. — $25,000 reduced to $12,500
Partnership for Creative Economies, Inc. — $120,000 reduced to $60,000
Portland Museum, Inc. — $20,000 reduced to $10,000
Stage One: The Louisville Children’s Theatre, Inc. — $15,000 reduced to $7,500
Walden Theatre Corporation — $10,000 reduced to $5,000
West Louisville Talent Education Center, Inc. — $6,000 reduced to $3,000
Neighborhood House — $10,000 reduced to $5,000
International Order of E.A.R.S — $3,000 reduced to $1,500
River City Drum Corps. — $15,000 reduced to $7,500

Total: $1,023,750 was originally pledged. It has been reduced to $511,875.

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