A few weeks ago a colleague at the local arts agency asked me to participate in a grant panel for a program that awards support to local non-profits and state partners. I spent most of Monday reading grants and most of Tuesday sitting on the panel. The other panelists were a diverse group of artistic and cultural personalities from various institutions in Tallahassee. We saw some truly innovative proposals and most everyone received the promise of some funding. However, the city does not yet know how much the allocation will be for this program.
Moreover, in the middle of the day we got an update from someone at the state level saying no, the divisions of Historic Preservation and Cultural Affairs will not be cut entirely . . . they will only have their funding drastically reduced. What the hell happened to state of the arts? Programs like that started because Florida had a reputation for funneling a healthy level of funding into artistic and cultural programs. I guess we’ve got to suck it up to pay for Charlie’s tax cut. I think I’ll put that cash together with my economic stimulus package and put it in a savings account so that when I have kids I can pay someone to teach them music and art privately. At this rate I’ll have to, because by that time there won’t be any state funding left for non-profits and the arts will have been gouged out of the public schools, too. Thanks, Chuck.