FIRST OFF . . .
In what some see as a major political victory for the state’s arts community, similar Senate and Assembly bills with provisions to resurrect the California Arts Council’s challenge grant program have been passed and agreed upon by both houses, according to Susan Hoffman, director of the California Confederation for the Arts, the state’s arts advocacy organization. Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed funds for the $1-million grant program in July, after 42 arts groups statewide had been announced as recipients. “I feel very grateful to the Legislature that they saw this as a priority and feel hopeful that the governor will be as responsive,” Hoffman said. The governor must sign the bills by the end of September for the challenge program, whose funds must be matched by private donations to be restored, Hoffman said.