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State Legislator Says Arts Are Not a Luxury

A Southern California assemblyman is trying to restore funding for the ailing California Arts Council. Adrin Nazarian, who represents Los Angeles County, says arts are not a luxury.
 
Nazarian’s bill would raise funding to the California Arts Council from about $1 million a year to $75 million.  He says the arts are an important economic engine in the state.
 
"For every dollar invested, there are multiple dollars generated because of the different vendors that come into play," he says. "The money multiplier effect plays a key role, which also helps generate the rate of return when it comes to our state and local taxes".
 
An Assembly committee approved AB 580 Tuesday and sent it to the appropriations committee.
 
Nazarian says he doesn’t want to compete for state dollars with programs that serve California’s most vulnerable populations. He says he just wants to open a dialogue about the importance of the arts.
 
Arts advocates say California is currently 49th in the nation in per capita investment in the arts, and Nazarian's bill would move it up to about 12th place.
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