Missouri Arts Council to Lose $5.5 Million Dollars in Budget Cuts

The St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the Missouri Arts Council has been informed of a budget cut of more than 5.5 million dollars for fiscal year of 2009.

The Post-Dispatch Reports that "In an email that the council made available to the Post-Dispatch, Linda Martinez, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, writes that the budget situation "has presented state government with a number of difficult choices, with many agencies having to withhold substantial amounts of funding to close shortfalls in the overall state budget. The Missouri Arts Council is one of those agencies that is being affected, as the Council is slated for a withholding of $5.562 million. Despite the withholding, the Missouri Arts Council will still honor all of its current commitments to its grantees that have been approved. The Council will be suspending Monthly Strategic Grants for the remainder of (fiscal year 2009). Any grants already submitted for FY09 that have not been approved will not be funded."

Missouri Arts Council, a state agency and division of the Department of Economic Development, provides grants to nonprofit organizations to encourage and stimulate the growth, development, and appreciation of the arts in Missouri. For over 40 years, MAC has provided vital support and leadership to bring the arts to all the people of the state.

Through funds from the Missouri General Assembly, Missouri Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts, MAC provides grants to make possible quality arts programming to both large and small communities. Examples of organizations that utilize MAC funds include small local Arts Councils like the Shelbina Arts Council and internationally renown organizations, such as the Saint Louis Symphony.

MAC allocates funding based on the recommendations of the Missourians who serve on advisory panels that meet annually to review applications from organizations seeking grants. The panel's recommendations are based on criteria that includes artistic excellence, education and outreach, community support, administrative ability and diversity of audience served.

The Missouri Arts Council - as public leader, partner and catalyst - is dedicated to broadening the appreciation and availability of the arts in the state and fostering the diversity, vitality and excellence of Missouri's communities, economy and cultural heritage.



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