Michigan Leads Nation in Biggest Cut to Arts Funding
by Jennifer Guerra
Ann Arbor, MI — Michigan leads the pack with a whopping 80 percent cut to state arts funding between fiscal year 2009 and 2010. Next comes Florida with a 65 percent cut, followed by Illinois with nearly 53 percent.
That’s according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
John Bracey is executive director of Michigan’s arts agency, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. He says he knows the state is going through a tough time right now and that everyone is feeling a great deal of pain, “but it seems like the arts and culture sector have felt more than their share.”
Bracey also says the cuts put Michigan at a disadvantage.
“When you’re trying to attract and retain your young workers, when you’re trying to attract new business into the state, the arts and culture sector in your state means a great deal to the quality of life,” he says.
Michigan’s arts funding dropped from around $7 million last year to $2 million this year.
That’s compared to a high of nearly $26 million in 2001.
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