Arts Council Gets Funding from Stimulus Package

by ekramer on April 16, 2009

The Kentucky Arts Council will receive some of the nearly $20 million the National Endowment for the Arts is providing to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The council is receiving more than $310,000 from the economic stimulus package. Lori Meadows is the Kentucky Arts Council’s executive director says it will distribute the money to arts organizations statewide to pay the salaries of essential staff.

“Most of the organizations which are eligible to apply to us — and approximately 95 do plan to do so— we’ve gone through and called all of those places,” Meadows says. “And several of them have mentioned that it’s going to help them out a lot.”

Meadows says she’s heard from many organizations that need help.

“I think we all know about the situation with Kentucky Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave, and that’s an example of what some of the organizations are facing,” she says. “There have been a number of reasons, both with sponsorships that kind of dropped off and then I think ticket sales — that’s dropped off some as well.”

The money also will help offset the 20 percent decrease in state funding that the council and Kentucky arts organizations have to bear with the latest state budget.

Meadows says there are no plans that she knows of to make this kind of funding available again or affect the regular funding the council receives from the NEA.

“The special stimulus money — that’s one-time funding. It’s not going to affect our annual amount that we get from the NEA,” Meadows says. “We hope that will grow and hopefully, in fiscal year ’10, we’ll be able to see a slight increase there.”

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