NYC Budget Cuts to Have Major Impact on Arts Groups

(5-17-10) Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his proposed 2011 fiscal year budget on May 6, and on May 14, Robin Pogrebin reported in The New York Times that "arts institutions insist they will be ruined by the cuts to their allocations."

What amounts to a 31% cut in funding from the actual 2010 budget is instead an 11% cut to the mayor's proposed art budget for that year—the City Council voted to put in additional funds, a fairly common reallocation during what Pogrebin describes as the "springtime tussle over the city's cultural budget." The City Council could intervene in 2011, too; but a $5 billion total budget deficit promises deep cuts to all areas of the city budget.

As part of the discussion about across-the-board budget cuts, Pogrebin quotes Arnold L. Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum and chairman of the Cultural Institutions Group:

We are trying to make our case that we are at the center of what the city is about...We are not only about maintaining one of the bright spots, tourism; we are after-school programs and we're senior citizen programs.

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