Arts Funding Slashed in Economic Crunch
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Senate approved state budget SB 850, which includes severe reductions in funding for the arts for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget, which passed by a 30-20 vote, cuts funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts from $15 million to zero - effectively eliminating all monies designated for arts and culture grants throughout the state. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission suffered similarly, in a move that could affect not only museums and historical societies but some public television programs as well.
In a bleak economy, budget cuts are a necessity - but from the arts? Even aside from a philosophical belief that art benefits a society and its citizens, such drastic cuts will inevitably mean massive layoffs for those who work in the arts sector if the House passes the bill.
Zero is a shock-value word, and I did indeed feel shock as I read reports of the Senate's decision. I don't want to see my state's arts and culture budgets slashed. ...1