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The Latest on State Arts Funding

The latest update from Arts North Carolina:

The Senate released its budget on Tuesday and the Senate Base Appropriations met on Wednesday to take amendments. The Senate budget calls for a 15% reduction in grants funding to the North Carolina Arts Council, the same as recommended in the House budget. Typically if the House and Senate budgets call for the same amount, the issue is a done deal and does not move to the Conference Committee. However, nothing is taken for granted this year and Arts North Carolina will continue to monitor the budget process to completion. We are expecting the 15% reduction to hold.

H758 calling for an Arts Education Commission to review and prioritize recommendations of the Comprehensive Arts Education Report and to recommend strategies and financing passed overwhelmingly through the House Education Committee on Tuesday and the full House on Wednesday. The bill is now headed for the Senate. Because the House vote was 112 – 1, please take a quick second to send a note of appreciation to your Legislator for voting “yes” on House Bill 758. We owe a huge voice of appreciation to primary sponsors Rep. Becky Carney (Mecklenburg), Rep. Linda Johnson (Cabarrus), Rep. Rick Glazier (Cumberland), and Rep. Alma Adams (Guilford).

Even as we take a moment of celebration, we must also be aware that not every program has faired as well. Historic sites took a beating this week, with the Senate recommending closing the Museum of the Albemarle and the Cape Fear Museum, and also a significant reduction in operating support which will, if it stands, mean several sites would be closed. If you live in the county of an historic site, please reach out to their friends group or staff and offer your advocacy support.