The elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts has prompted an “artist march on the capitol” for Monday (April 19) at 1 p.m. Hundreds are expected to march from The Rialto Theatre at 80 Forsyth St. in Downtown to the State Capitol steps. A Facebook page has been set up detailing the route.
On Wednesday, the Georgia House of Representatives passed an FY2011 budget, which eliminated the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA). In existence since 1965, the agency has served the entire state, providing direct grants, as well as funding for the Grassroots Arts Program that provides awards for arts programs in every county. The move by the House makes Georgia the only state in the nation without an arts council
In a statement released by GCA late Friday, rationale for the cut was that GCA was a “duplicative agency.” Two organizations were cited to replace GCA: the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Arts Alliance. However, the fate of more than $1 million in national and regional partners the National Endowment for the Arts and South Arts. GCA said neither the Department of Community Affairs or Georgia Arts Alliance met the requirements necessary to receive the funding from the other agencies.
There are three more actions that must occur before the budget recommendations become final: a vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee, a full Senate vote on the Committee recommendations, and the final approval by the Conference Committee that resolves differences between the House and Senate budget recommendations.
More details as we have them.