Fulton Blocks Cut to Arts Funding

first_img Related Stories Share Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility For Whom The Bell Rings Fulton County grant funding for arts programs will stay intact.The county commission Wednesday rejected a plan to cut arts grants by about a million dollars.Fulton arts grant money on the table1:42Dozens of arts groups lobbied against the proposed cut. Horizon Theatre Company Marketing Manager Kristen Gwock Silton said without arts, governments lose tax revenues, and cities lose culture.“If you want to know how heavily arts organizations affect the livelihood of many small businesses, take a look at Marietta Square,” Silton said, “where with the disappearance of two theater companies, restaurants are struggling to survive without the constant influx of arts-goers.”“Silton was one of many inside the Fulton Government Auditorium against a plan to cut arts grants by $986,000. Interim County Manager David Ware says Fulton needs that money to pay the lease on on the South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail. The proposal also came as Fulton wrestles with a budget deficit that could reach up to $114 million.Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell responded to public comments on the cut, saying ”[Fulton County has] female inmates sleeping on the floor. That is unacceptable. […] I’ve got to get these inmates off the floor and that means as much to me as any aria or symphony.”But Darnell says Fulton needs to prioritize its criminal justice budget instead of cutting arts grants to pay for the prison.Those grants in part help arts organizations teach kids according to Jeff Watkins, he’s the artistic director of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. He told the commissioners that of the hundred-plus arts companies in the county, “almost all of us have an educational component.”In the end, the Fulton Commission agreed and rejected the proposed cut. 1:42 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Partylast_img

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