California arts advocates are fighting battles on many fronts these days. As cuts loom over federal arts funding, local organizations are lobbying state lawmakers to maintain the same level of support for the arts in the new state budget as the previous year
The California Arts Council hobbled along on just $1 million a year for more than a decade in the early 2000s, but last year state lawmakers approved more than $17 million for the California Arts Council, including a one-time bump of $6.8 million.
This January, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal was missing that extra money.
“We were disappointed but not surprised,” said California Arts Advocates President Richard Stein, who’s also president and CEO of Arts Orange County.
“Because Gov. Brown’s approach to budgeting is very prudent,” he said. “And he generally would like to see the legislature take the lead on funding for the Arts Council.”