Governor Paterson plans major mid-year cut to New York arts funding

Photo: Getty Images

In my last post, Arts and the Recession: I want the truth, not rose-colored glasses!, I expressed my desire to see more news articles that discuss the difficult strains on the arts in these troubling economic times. Perhaps I should be more careful what I wish for.

I found this article from The Huffington Post detailing proposed cuts to the New York State arts funding by Governor David Paterson. The current appropriations for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is $41.6 million. As part of the effort to balance the budget of the fractured state legislature, Paterson has recently proposed to cut appropriations down to $25.2 million, a 40% cut. Such an enormous cut would clearly cost jobs at the arts agency and would most likely result in closings of even more arts organizations across the state.

Even in New York City, where Bloomberg funds and corporate donors are more abundant, dance organizations have been struggling to survive. In the past few months, both Dance Theater Workshop and Dance New Amsterdam have openly asked individuals for funds, hoping to raise enough money to simply stay open and continue their programming. I cannot imagine what such a withdrawal from government funding will do to arts organizations in the city and across the state.

Extra note: If you’re interested in helping to stop these  budget cuts, visit the NYS Arts Advocacy Page for more information.

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