In Wednesday’s (4/21) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard Pousner writes, “ ‘Art = $$ for Georgia,’ read one sign hoisted by artists and arts supporters marching to the Capitol on Monday protesting the possible elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts. On Tuesday, a Senate panel concurred, returning funding to the GCA that the House had stripped from the state’s arts agency last week. The Senate Appropriations Committee restored the $890,735 that the governor had recommended for GCA, but the House had cut out. The Senate version of the budget keeps the agency going, but with about $1.6 million less in state backing than it has in fiscal year 2010. Still, arts supporters shouldn’t celebrate just yet. The budget has to pass the full Senate. Then House leaders have to agree to keep the money in when the budget is taken up by a conference committee that includes three senators and three House members. … To save administrative costs amid a $800 million budget shortfall that has caused controversial cuts to education and other areas, House leaders wanted to replace the GCA with a new agency, the Georgia Arts Alliance. … But NEA officials questioned whether the arrangement would qualify as being eligible for NEA funding. Georgia would have become the only state in the U.S. without an official arts agency recognized by the NEA.”

Posted April 22, 2010