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InFocus Debates Cutting the Arts from the State 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

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