The announcement comes after incremental cuts in the Arts Council’s budget over the year became an overall 24 percent reduction, which is almost $1 million. The grants include one that helped fund performing arts events and another that provided funds to individual Kentucky artists to further their work. Others have supported research into and presentation of folk arts and built partnerships between artists and local organizations to encourage educational and economic growth.
Arts Council executive director Lori Meadows says the decision came after looking at dire predictions about the state budget.
“Until we’re positive what our funding level for fiscal year 2011 is,” she says, “it just seemed like the right thing to do, so that people wouldn’t go to the trouble of planning on or filling out an application.”
Meadows says the council has just put the grants on hiatus for the coming fiscal year. She says it’s trying to counter that loss by assisting artists and groups with other activities.
“We are planning on increasing our technical assistance in other non-grant related areas and work with artists and organizations and communities in that way,” she says.
Last year, the grants made up more than $150,000 in awards. And as recently as 2005, those programs provided arts groups and artists with more then $300,000.
Meadows says the suspended grants are all a particular kind.
“These are all project-related or professional assistance award programs,” she says. “And while they wouldn’t hopefully hurt someone’s bottom line, it may mean that they would have to look elsewhere for project-related expenses.”