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Cuts to the arts

I appreciate Diane Haithman’s fine reporting on the results of the Congressional Arts Report Card recently issued by Americans for the Arts [“State’s U.S. Delegation Gets a B in Arts Support,” Oct. 30].

The article provides an accurate snapshot of congressional support (or lack thereof) for the arts, and mentions that California “spends an annual 9 cents per citizen.”

However, while the calculation of 9 cents includes revenue from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts License Plate, the amount of funding provided solely by the state in public tax dollars is less than 3 cents per Californian.

Over the last three years, the budget for the California Arts Council has been slashed 97%, from $30.7 million to its current level of $1 million.

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California, the world’s fifth largest economy, now ranks 50th in the nation for per capita arts support.

Restoring the Arts Council’s budget to meaningful levels will enrich arts education programs, create jobs, promote cross-cultural understanding, support local economies throughout the state and bring back California’s reputation as a leader for the arts, culture and creativity.

Barbara George

Chair, California Arts Council

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Sacramento


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