Local Arts Support Becomes More Important As State and Federal Funding Continues to Diminish

Click on link in story to read this year's "Culture Pulse" report
Click on link in story to read this year's "Culture Pulse" report
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Each year, the Cleveland-based Community Partnership for Arts and Culture examines the health of Cuyahoga County's non-profit arts community. This year's "Culture Pulse" study says that, while overall financial support for 96 arts organizations is stable, the money coming from federal and state sources continues to trend downward. The Community Partnership's Thomas Schorgl says that's especially true for funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

THOMAS SCHORGL: It's been going down steadily and then flattening out and then going down --- there's not growth in terms of federal funding for the arts. The state went up the last go around, but the budget before that it went down significantly, and we'll see what happens when we go in this year.

Schorgl says such trends make area arts agencies more reliant on the 30-cents-a-pack county sales tax on cigarettes that was designated for arts and culture in 2006. That tax is set to expire unless voters renew it in two years. Schorgl says another source of concern is the lack of liquid, long-term cash on-hand for area arts institutions in case of emergencies, like a fire or a major dip in the stock market. On the positive side the report indicates hiring and salaries are up in the regional arts sector.

NOTE: ideastream receives funding from Cuyahoga County's cigarette tax.

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