Georgia-based readers, yesterday the House passed a $17.8 billion budget that completely eliminates the Georgia Council for the Arts, which means…according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“Georgia would become the only state in the U.S. without an arts agency if that plan holds as the budget works its way through the Senate before going to Gov. Sonny Perdue.
The only state arts support that would remain if the GCA is eliminated is $250,000 in granting funds that would be transferred to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to administer.
Allen Bell, program director for the regional arts organization South Arts, pointed out that the loss to Georgia’s nonprofit arts agencies and the state’s economy would be far greater than the savings from closing the GCA. The GCA received $812,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal 2009, but Georgia would not qualify for a similar allocation if its state arts agency is eliminated. Ditto South Arts grants to Georgia arts groups that totaled more than $100,000 over the past two years.”
If this doesn’t sit well with you (arts $ become tourism $$$), you can find and contact your elected officials through this state website. The Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies has developed this site to also help you do the same thing.