Atlanta Mayor reverses decision on city arts cuts

Posted on: May 23, 2011

In Friday’s (5/20) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard Pousner writes, “Mayor Kasim Reed has reversed his decision to cut the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs grants program by half, telling arts leaders Thursday that he’s restoring its full budget to $470,000. Reed acknowledged that the arts trim, as part of an attempt to close an overall shortfall of $17 million in the city’s 2012 budget, ‘didn’t sit right’ with him. It didn’t sit right either with arts leaders and artists, more than 200 who held a rally at City Hall and spoke at a City Council budget hearing last week. … A full Marriott Marquis ballroom of metro Atlanta arts and corporate leaders attending the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund luncheon gave Reed a standing ovation. … Though Atlanta’s arts funding is minor compared to many cities of its size, arts leaders feel the city needs to at least continue at the current level for reasons both monetary and symbolic. ‘To say the city of Atlanta needs great arts is one thing, but to back that up with cash is another,’ said Lisa Adler, co-founder of Horizon Theatre. ‘Where you put your dollars is where your values are.’ ”

Posted May 23, 2011