Fund for the Arts Responds to State Funding Cuts
This week the Kentucky Arts Council, which took a 25 percent reduction in funding for its Arts Partnership grant program due to state budget reductions and a return of $600,000 in its earned income to the general fund, announced its 2015 Kentucky Arts Partnership grants. Nearly all groups in Jefferson County saw a reduction in funding (see yesterday's article), including the Fund for the Arts.Last year, the fund received more than $74,000 from the arts council. This year that amount dropped to $41,000, which also represents potential additional cuts to the Fund for the Arts' cultural partner organizations, all of which receive state funds as well. Newly-installed president and CEO Christen Boone says that state grant money is shared with the Fund’s cultural partner groups, and it helps pay for the Fund's educational outreach programs."We will have to find these dollars from other sources, from other private sources," said Boone. "Ultimately we want to continue to invest in our arts education programs here, to make sure that over 400,000 children get a chance to experience the arts and have it impact their own success long-term." Boone also says education and long-term success of students isn't the only way the arts have an impact statewide. "We also talk about economic impact, and what does a vibrant creative economy mean for us here in Louisville Metro? It’s a $259 million of economic activity every year," she said. "That is substantial when you think about the long-term success of our community. And we need to, at a state level, have those conversations as well."The Kentucky Arts Council has also awarded an extra $100,000 to the Fund for the Arts’ Power2Give crowd-funding platform for the last two years. The Fund hasn't heard yet if that money will continue this year.Among fiscal year 2015 projections, Kentucky will rank 30th in state budget per-capita arts spending nationwide, spending $0.69 per person on the arts, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. The Fund for the Arts just wrapped its fiscal year 2014 campaign, raising more than $8 million for the third year in a row.