Governor Jan Brewer slapped the Arizona arts community last week with additional budget cuts in her proposed budget for 2012/2013.
The proposed budget eliminates appropriations to the Arts Commission's general fund and includes an 8 percent reduction to the Arizona Arts Trust Fund.
"The economic crisis in Arizona is having a significant impact on the nonprofit arts industry," says Robert C. Booker, Executive Director of the ACA. "Programs for children have been reduced, jobs are being cut, and outreach programs into neighborhoods are diminishing ...
As public funding decreases, so does an arts organization's ability to engage young people in arts education, create a true economic impact for our state, draw in tourists, and build cultural understanding between people."
Brewer's proposed budget would reduce state money allocated to the Arts Commission by 30 percent, which would affect the local arts industry (currently employing 50,000 Arizonans) that delivers arts experiences to 1.7 million local students, and has an economic impact of nearly half a billion dollars annually, according to the ACA.
Arizona's currently 47th in the nation in annual per-capita arts support -- providing less than 15 cents per capita in support of the arts industry.
As the proposal's negotiated by the State Legislature, commission representatives and members of the Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts (AzCA/AzAA) are investigating strategies to protect local arts funding.
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On a related note: The video below was made by David Shrigley as part of the Save the Arts campaign in London, which was started after a proposed 25 percent cut in London arts programs.