“Imagine having the amount of money you receive in a year cut to a fifth of what it once was,” writes Naomi King in Tuesday’s (3/31) Daily Comet (Lafourche Parish, Louisiana). “That’s the scenario facing arts councils across the state because of budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana Decentralized Arts Fund, a program that gives grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 to arts and cultural projects via entities like the Houma Regional Arts Council, will lose millions in state money and the bulk of its budget if Jindal’s proposal is approved. … The governor’s proposed budget, released last week and designed to offset a projected $2 billion deficit, cuts 83 percent from the Decentralized Arts Fund, from $2.98 million this year to $515,000 in 2010. Another program, the State Arts Fund, would be cut 31 percent, from $2.61 million this year to $1.81 million next year. Critics say that could be a crippling blow for art and music programs at local schools, libraries and downtown festivals. … For more rural communities, like Assumption Parish, schools and arts groups rely heavily on the state because the community doesn’t have large businesses to solicit money from, [Glenda Troups, director of the Houma Regional Arts Council] said.”

Posted April 1, 2009