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Arts panel’s budget is slashed

Steep funding cuts threaten the future of the arts commission in Long Beach.

In a meeting this week, the Public Corp. for the Arts’ board voted to continue its operation, although a sharply reduced budget will force the agency out of its offices in the city’s East Village arts district.

The nonprofit 10-member agency, which has been the official arts council for Long Beach since 1976, administers educational programs, gives grants to artists and provides funding to art groups, including the Long Beach Symphony. It also sponsors the signature event “Smithsonian Week,” a week of lectures and school visits by three scholars from the Washington institution.

About 70% of the agency’s funding comes from the city. This year, its allocation was cut in half, to $650,000, with plans to drop to $350,000 in 2005. The budget cuts were made in response to the city’s current financial crisis.

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Louise Roug


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