Arts Advocates Oppose Exorbitant Cuts to State Agencies

by ekramer on November 23, 2009

Lower state revenues mean that cuts are being proposed for state arts agencies nationwide. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports on what is recommended by leaders in Kentucky and Indiana.

The Kentucky Arts Council just got word that it may have to take a 6 percent cut to its budget while the Indiana Arts Commission may get a 10 percent budget cut. A national arts advocacy group says most state arts agencies are facing similar cuts.

Jay Dick is with Americans for the Arts. He says, while cuts might be inevitable, his organization is working with state advocacy groups like Arts Kentucky and the Indiana Coalition for the Arts to ensure legislators know the economic value of the arts and that the arts don’t have to take more than their fair share of cuts.

“In those states where the legislatures get it, the state arts council will be in a better place,” Dick says. “In those states where we’re not able to communicate that, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult for the arts council to maintain its funding.”

Dick says he is working with state arts advocacy groups, including Arts Kentucky and Indiana Coalition for the Arts, to encourage lawmakers to make cuts to state arts agencies that are the same as those made to other agencies.

“In Kentucky, they’re getting the same amount of cutting,” he says. “In other states, the arts are taking a bigger hit, like in Indiana where the governor had proposed at one point a 50 percent cut.”

Dick says those cuts will be felt in communities.

“The arts are going to be one of those where the grant dollars are going to decrease, and the local arts groups, theaters or whatnot, are not going to be receiving as much as they have been,” he says.

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