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Should The Arts Receive State Funding? [POLL]

Instead of receiving a fixed amount each fiscal year, arts and cultural institutions will compete for a portion of $14 million from a state fund. Do you think the arts should receive public funds?

The heads of Connecticut's arts and cultural institutions gathered at a public hearing in Hartford  last week to express their concerns about Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposal to cut $11 million in funding on July 1, according to the Hartford Courant.

The proposed budget, which shows more than 20 different arts programs with a zero balance next their names, is calling for these organizations to apply for funding on an annual basis instead of receiving it automatically. Leaders expressed at the hearing that the change would cause major disruption because they've already created their fiscal plans for 2012.

Also last week, OPM Secretary Ben Barnes issued this clarification: "The proposed budget does not eliminate funding for arts organizations. Our goals in making these changes are simple – we want to create a system that demands accountability standards and sets performance benchmarks for organizations that receive state money. The current system of simply allocating an earmark does not do that. It does not ask the organization to disclose how that money is being spent, how much the funding provided by the state contributes to the entirety of that organization’s budget or how many people take part in a given exhibit or event."

What do you think? Should arts/cultural groups receive state aid, or should it be cut entirely in favor of more government-related programs and projects? Take our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.

Oscar February 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Oh sure, then they can control it and it wouldn't be art anymore.
Michelle Petroccio February 23, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The Arts are very crucial to learing and progressing in music, theatre, dance and many other areas. Education in the Arts facilitates so much growth for our youths' futures in college and later in life when choosing a profession in so many ways. Without a benefit from funding to the arts, we could have less teachers, actors, artists, dancers, videographers and photographers, taking culture eventually out of society as we know it.
RONALD M GOLDWYN February 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
The arts are an important part of our society, but everything has to be put in its place. We must have our priorities. Do we spend for the arts over police protection? Is health care more important than fire protection? Is the arts a necessity? All has its place in our society if we can afford it.
Michelle Petroccio February 24, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Mr. Goldwyn, prioritizing funds between law and learning budgets are not in question here! The question at hand is cuts in the education budget, if, when, why and how the arts will be affected. There are separate bugets for law enforcement and education, prioritizing the cuts and spending in each budget is the situation at hand. Perhaps now that you and your children have been through thier educational experiences, and other students have not, this isn't important to you. I have children who are students involved in the arts of music, theatre, dance and the like. Careers in these fields are essential to thier futures. Perhaps there should be budget cuts for law students, doctors and the like of your professional stature? It's a pity some people are so opinionated and closed=minded!
Sam Giglio February 24, 2012 at 09:09 PM
How sad that we need to even question how important the Art's are to the Community As one who worked with Mayor April so we could start an Arts Commission in East Haven i now find it so disturbing that it may just fade into the past. I was one of the seven New Commissioners when we got underway with approval from the Town Council. We did not have a line item in the budget, we had no Clerk to take the minutes like other Commission's. So we were on our own to make this work. Raise Money on our own and try to bring the Arts to East Haven. We were on our way knowing one day it would all come together. Two of our Commissioners had to leave for personal reasons, Mayor April found a replacement for one spot.. Now Maturo becomes Mayor. and four of us are up for reappointment or replacement. I am the only one who recevied a letter thanking me for my service and my term was up. The other three Commissioners have no idear if there still on or off. So at this time the Commission has only two actve Members. So as i see it now the Arts in East Haven seems like its not an important Commission and not something this Administration thinks is important for the Eductional experiences, Culture, and growth of our Town. We need the Arts if we want to be a Community of Creative minds and Vision.

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