California arts groups will get a big bump in funding in the coming fiscal year -- even more than previously thought.
The new $167.6 billion-state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday provides $8.3 million for the California Arts Council, of which $7.1 million has been described as a "permanent increase."
This is a significant boost to council's funding, which has scraped by most of this past decade on about $1 million a year.
There were already signs of an imminent growth in state arts last month when Brown's revised budget increased the council's proposed funding to $6.1 million and a state Senate subcommittee proposed increasing it to $10 million.
Donn Harris, who chairs the California Arts Council, says that some of the money will go towards beefing up pilot programs for the young, veterans, and underserved communities.
"We think the arts can apply to so many things that we don’t want them to be part of some elite piece off to the side," Harris said. "We see this as part of the fabric of life."
Advocates for the arts applauded the funding boost for the state, where one in ten residents works in the creative economy. But California would have to spend around $42 million a year to match the average per-person arts budgets of other states.