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State Arts Commission forced to make cuts

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This just in from the Indiana Arts Commission concerning cuts it has had to make after the state legislature cut its budget in excess of 20 percent.

Arts Commission to cut two programs and scale back others to meet budget reduction

(Indianapolis, Indiana) — The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that two grant programs will be eliminated and additional programs scaled back to help address State budget reductions in excess of 20 percent for the current fiscal year.

The announcement came as the result of an emergency session of the Commission on July 20th to review budget options resulting from the two-year State budget approved last month by the Indiana General Assembly which calls for a 20 percent reduction in the appropriation for the IAC. In addition, the State Budget Agency has mandated an additional 5 percent holdback to be added to State reserves for all state agencies.

"During the regular session of the legislature it appeared we, along with most other state agencies, would receive a budget reduction of about eight percent," explained IAC Executive Director Lewis C. Ricci. "When the Commission met in June they reviewed a number of budget scenarios ranging from 10 to 15 percent reductions, which at that time we felt would be realistic expectations. The additional reduction made it necessary to call a special Commission meeting earlier this month to finalize our FY2010 budget."

As a result of the reduction, the Commission considered three new budget plans for the current fiscal year. Each would impact internal as well as external grant programs and services. Two IAC grant programs, the Presenter Touring Program and the American Masterpieces Program will be eliminated for the current fiscal year. The IAC's Arts in Education Program will be cut by 50 percent, and the Individual Artist Program will be reduced by 20 percent.

Grants to Major Arts Organizations (those with statewide or multi-region programming) will be scaled back by 23 percent, and block grants to the IAC's Regional Arts Partnership will be reduced by 21 percent.

"Of the three budget scenarios the Commission considered, the one they approved will have the smallest fiscal impact to all grantees and sub-grantees in our state while keeping intact our highly-effective decentralized, regional service system," Ricci said. "We are also taking a number of steps internally including staffing, travel, and office relocation to further reduce agency expenditures."

Several grant awards approved by the Commission at its June meeting had been placed on hold pending the outcome of the Special Session of the General Assembly. With the Commission's approval of this new FY2010 agency budget, grant recipients should begin receiving notification about their pending grant awards within the next several weeks.

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.

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