Advocates Rally for the Arts in Indiana

by ekramer on March 12, 2009

Arts advocates from around Indiana gathered at the statehouse today for Arts Day. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The arts advocates met in Indianapolis to rally for public funding and other support for the arts.

The recent state budget drafted by Gov. Mitch Daniels calls for a 50 percent reduction in the Indiana Arts Commission’s $4 million budget, while the budget bill from the House of Representatives stipulates only an 8 percent reduction. The bill is now in the Senate.

Lewis Ricci is the agency’s executive director and says more people are saying the arts should be supported in their communities.

“We have heard from legislators that they have heard more about this issue in their districts than any other issue,” Ricci says “Some of them have said that they heard more about this issue than the property tax that came up in the last session.”

The budget directly affects how much money the Arts Council of Southern Indiana receives to distribute for the arts in its region.

“Depending on how the budget ends up, it will certainly have an effect on the amount of public dollars that are available for the not-for-profit arts community,” Ricci says.

Indiana’s General Assembly also is considering a bill that strengthens the rights of artists with work on consignment in galleries.

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