With further budget cuts being proposed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, the Kentucky Arts Council is looking at ways to further trim its budget. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
One of the prominent topics at the recent meeting of the Kentucky Arts Council’s board of directors was further budget reductions. Due to falling state revenues over the past 23 months, the governor has asked for many cuts, says the council’s executive director, Lori Meadows.
“With the latest 6 percent proposed reduction, that will give us a total 26 percent budget reduction in our state funding and that’s about $1.1 million,” she says.
Meadows says Governor the latest request to reduce the budget has the agency further assessing all of its programs.
“We’re trying to look at what can we do to help organizations and artists really build and hold on during these challenging times so that we don’t lose too much,” she says. “So, we’re focusing a lot on technical assistance.”
Meadows says the agency has reduced grants in project-related areas that often fund events like special performances or one-time festivals while preserving other grants and project. It also had lowered administrative costs, in part by moving more publications online.
“We’re trying to make sure that people have the tools necessary to do their work, so things that would help organizations increase their operational capacity and artists increase their marketing skills and their professional development,” she says.
Meadows cites Kentucky Crafted, the annual trade show featuring Kentucky artists, as one program the council has worked hard to maintain.