In Sunday’s (8/2) Miami Herald , Daniel Chang reports, “In a tight year for all county expenses, [Miami-Dade] Mayor Carlos Alvarez’s budget proposes to make big cuts to grants for arts groups, many of which rely on that money for their survival. Cultural groups are fighting back, bombarding commissioners with e-mails, phone calls and personal pleas to restore the money. … The county must close a $427 million overall budget gap—out of an overall $7.83 billion spending plan—because of decreased property tax revenues, and a broad range of programs will likely be affected. For the current year, the county is distributing $14.8 million in grants to nearly 500 arts groups. … Not all arts groups are facing drastic cuts in county funding. The mayor’s spending plan includes a new $5 million subsidy for the county-owned Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts—on top of the existing $7 million yearly subsidy the center receives for maintenance, security and other costs. … Howard Herring, chief executive of the New World Symphony, sent alerts of the proposed cuts to everyone on the orchestra’s 7,000-strong e-mail list. … New World Symphony, which operates on an $8.5 million annual budget, received $430,000 from Miami-Dade last year for its operations. The orchestra would lose all of that under the mayor’s budget.”

Posted August 4, 2009