Sunday, March 14, 2010

Arts Commission survives


The Virginia Commission for the Arts, which would have been shut down next year under a state budget plan passed by the House of Delegates, has survived in the House-Senate compromise budget approved on March 14 by the General Assembly.

The budget now goes to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who may veto or call for revisions of appropriations.

The General Assembly appropriated just under $3.8 million for the commission in each year of the 2010-12 budget. In addition, there are special grants of $50,000 and special dedicated revenue of $8,000 in each of the two years. The state estimates that the commission will receive slightly more than $800,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts each year. That adds up to an annual budget of about $4.66 million.

Recipients of Arts Commission grants can expect 15 percent reductions from this year's level in the next two years, with deeper cuts in tour programs and elimination of some special and technical grants.

Peggy Baggett, director of the Arts Commission, says its executive committee will meet later this week to decide on 2010-11 apportioning of touring grant money, a key support component for performing-arts presentations in Virginia's small towns and rural areas.


From Hampton Roads, as reported by Teresa Annas in The Virginian-Pilot:

And in the Richmond area, as reported by Style Weekly's Sara Dabney Tisdale: