At a time when federal funding for the arts is in jeopardy, the state agency can count on a bigger pot of money to support a wide variety of arts programs all over California. It's also a sign that state legislators have reprioritized arts funding after years of dedicating little money to the council.
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies ranks states according to arts funding in four different ways, but in terms of total state agency spending, California ranks 40th out of 50 states in per-capita funding, based on this fiscal year. The ranking based on this latest budget hasn't been released yet.
"We are thrilled," Brad Erickson, Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area, said. He's followed budget negotiations closely over the years, and in the past, he's criticized state government for one-time budget boosts that leave the council and its grantees in a state of suspense about the future of programs. The Governor, Erickson says, "has set an new baseline for its future funding."
"What this really means is that the excellent programs begun last year with these funds will continue," Erickson added.