Monday, March 15, 2010
Arts Commission Cuts Not So Bad
Arts managers breathed easier this morning after learning that the Virginia Commission for the Arts was not entirely erased from the state budget.
The House of Delegates originally proposed eliminating funding for the commission, which provides grants to arts organizations throughout the state, but legislators agreed Sunday to a budget that cuts grants to Hampton Roads groups by 16 percent, from $1 million to $840,000.
The arts commissions overall grants budget of $4 million will drop by $670,000 to about $3.3 million for each of the next two years. In addition, the commission receives $432,000 from the state for administrative expenses, which will remain the same.
"We feel its a pretty big victory," says Terry Bliss of the North Street Playhouse. "It is a result of a ground-swell of support from all across the Commonwealth."
Nick Covatta, Director of the Virginia Arts Commission agreed. Support really came from all across the state. We got a lot of support from rural areas here on the Shore and in the Shenendoah and also from the urban areas such as Richmond and Northern Virginia.
Covatta went on to say "Many smaller arts groups such as the North Street Playhouse, ACES and ESO depend on the funding from the Arts Commission to balance their budgets."
Terry Bliss says the North Street Playhouse has been battling with a leaky roof over the past year and because of funding from the Virginia Arts Commission, the Playhouse was able to save some money from ticket sales to continue to put on plays for the Eastern Shore.