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InFocus Debates Cutting the Arts from the State Budget

A panel discussion held in the WTIU studios Thursday night debated Governor Daniel's proposal to cut the arts drastically from the state's budget.

Arts advocates said they will continue to lobby lawmakers to protect arts funding as the state budget process moves forward. Sally Gaskill, president of the Indiana Coalition for the Arts Foundation, said that the arts are a critical part of the economy and should be supported in a practical manner.

“We think that government should also be supporting, in a reasonable way, arts and cultural development. For the reasons that have already been articulated, we know that the arts are important to the economy,” said Gaskill.

City of Bloomington Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts Miah Michaelson said she tries to promote the arts as a funding source for local businesses.

“In Bloomington, the arts generated $44.5 million annually in economic impact, a significant amount for a community like this,” said Michaelson.

Gaskill said arts backers noticed a disparity in Governor Mitch Daniels’ initial budget proposal. Most state agencies received a five to eight percent cut while arts funding was slashed 50 percent.

WTIU’s InFocus airs on the last Thursday of each month and rebroadcasts Friday night at 10.

-LaMar Holliday Reporting

Joe Hren

Anchor, Indiana Newsdesk - WTIU & WFIU News. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_Hren

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  • Tim Mayer

    I like the new InFocus program, it has the potential to offer the community a good deal of timely information. A few of observations: I find the flying saucer graphic with accompanying “swoosh” sound distracting and pretty silly – there does not seem to be a logic for its use (abuse). The musical chair format, from segment to segment, seems a bit confusing (why does one person stay and the others disappear? And, the WFIU telephone interview by telephone seems really silly for a TV show. Actually, I heard the radio broadcast on WFIU and it seemed to work better as radio considering my concerns.
    Thanks for you work.
    TM

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