Following Funding Loss, Alaska State Council on the Arts Closes
After funding loss, the Alaska State Council on the Arts closed its doors Monday July 15, "making Alaska the only state without an arts council," as The Associated Press reported.
The agency closed after governor Mike Dunleavy, a Republican who took office in December, used a line-item budget veto to eliminate the council’s funding of $2.8 million. Alaska lawmakers fell short last week in attempts to override the vetoes, explained AP.
Executive Director Andrea Noble-Pelant wrote to KTUU that "we have done everything possible to prevent this situation that will forever change our state," and that restoring funding to the program "is now in the hands of our elected officials through your voices and stories."
In a message posted in its website, the agency said:
With great sadness we regret to inform you the Alaska State Council on the Arts, a public corporation, will close our doors today, July 15, 2019 under the directive of the Department of Education and Early Development after 53 years of service to the people of Alaska. Thank you for all the phone calls, cards, flowers and messages of support throughout this event which has fractured our state’s creative industries as well as the lives of our dedicated staff. Please know that when we turn over our keys, we have done everything possible to alter the course of this situation that will forever change our state.
According to local reports, 50 people gathered in solidarity with the agency.
Image: Alaska State Council on the Arts website