Be VERY afraid!
Many state agencies are now in process of considering draconian budget cuts to the arts. Legislators in two states, Georgia and Virginia, are in process of deciding whether or not to totally eliminate their state arts agencies, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Particularly interesting is the fact that the same budget eliminating the Georgia Arts Council includes $10 million for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Along the same line, the Florida Senate has recommended funding its Division of Cultural Affairs at the level of $0.00 which, if agreed upon by its House of Representatives will effectively eliminate it. Concomitantly, the House has recommended a 50% reduction in funding for Arts and Cultural Grants which already were cut by 92% over the past few years.
Not to be left out, the 2011 budget proposal by the Governor of Arizona moves ten million dollars from the Arizona ArtShare Arts Endowment Fund which would effectively deplete it, and the budget proposal of the Governor of Michigan eliminates the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries.
In Minnesota, the Governor proposes to cut the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) and Regional Arts Council (RAC) system by 33% in 2011 and 66% in 2012. All general funding support for the arts would be eliminated by 2013 and the State Arts Board would be converted to a private corporation. In addition, the proposal also eliminates all appropriations for public broadcasting.
Under the 2010-1011 budget proposed by the Governor of New York, the New York State Council on the Arts grant-making funds would be cut by $6.5 million along with an additional $600,000 cut to its administrative budget.
The Nevada Arts Council budget was $2.5 million in 2008, but for 2010 has been reduced to $1.3 million with more cuts anticipated during the current special session of the legislature.
Under consideration at the State House of Maryland is a $6 million cut in state arts funding, and New Hampshire has already cut $428,00 out of the Arts Council's state-appropriated grants budget.
What is happening in your state?
If you don't check it out and do whatever you can to support
continued funding for the arts, you may find yourself
without a state arts advocacy agency and with
no source of funding for individual artist grants.