State of California budget proposal includes massive increase in arts funding

Posted on: April 11, 2013

Tuesday (4/9) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mike Boehm writes, “With California still ranked last nationally in per capita state spending on government grants to the arts, advocates hope an improving economy will bode well for the first legislative bid in four years to address its lowly status. An Assembly bill introduced by Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) would dedicate $75 million a year from the state’s general fund for the California Arts Council—up from the current $1 million. The bill, AB 580, passed the Assembly’s committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media by a 4-2 party-line vote Tuesday. It now moves to the committee on Appropriations, which is where a 2009 arts-funding bill died amid a deep recession. Nazarian acknowledged that the $75 million ‘will most likely change’ given competing funding needs. But now that state funding seems to be stabilizing amid improving tax revenues, he said, ‘this is the right time to have the conversation’ about addressing the disproportionate cuts of a decade ago. The Arts Council budget peaked at $32 million in 2000-2001, then was slashed 94% over the next two years under then-Gov. Gray Davis.”

Posted April 11, 2013