State agencies vital to America’s arts landscape

Posted on: February 10, 2011

In Wednesday’s (2/9) Miller-McCune, Tom Jacobs writes, in a broad survey of the impact of state arts agencies, “governors around the United States are currently proposing [that] state arts agencies are either drastically curtailed or completely dismantled. … Student matinees, training programs for teachers and administrators, efforts to bring cultural events into inner cities and rural communities—all will be severely curtailed. Wealthy patrons will still enjoy the cultural offerings they generously support. But less-glamorous projects, and those that require coordination or cooperation between organizations, will be fewer in number and lower in quality. And smaller organizations, which rely more heavily on public support, will be more likely to close their doors. … State arts agencies don’t attract the attention—positive or negative—of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is once again being threatened by congressional cutbacks, but they play an underappreciated role in the nation’s arts infrastructure. Funded by a mixture of state appropriations, matching grants from the national Endowment for the Arts and some private support, these agencies provide nonprofit arts organizations with advice, guidance, information—and grant money.” The article discusses proposed arts funding cuts in Arizona, South Carolina, Kansas, California, Texas, and Washington.

Posted February 10, 2011