Letters: Cutting arts means cutting jobs - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letters: Cutting arts means cutting jobs

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Posted: Saturday, February 19, 2011 2:30 am

The U.S. House of Representatives is on track to cut $43 million from the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget of $167.5 million. That’s a 26 percent cut — the deepest in 16 years.

Our senators should prevent these deep cuts from happening when they take up this legislation at the end of this month.

The arts mean jobs! According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry generates $166.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $12.6 billion in federal income taxes. Measured against direct federal cultural spending of about $1.4 billion, that’s a return of nearly nine to one.

Federal funding for the arts leverages private funding. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients — a match far exceeded by most grantees. On average, each NEA grant leverages at least $7 from other state, local, and private sources. Private support cannot match the leveraging role of government cultural funding.

I am a music teacher and classical performer. We can not allow these budget cuts to occur. The arts will suffer exponentially if nothing is done. People should have a voice in this decision. The arts are the only common language around the globe!!

Carol Parsell, Mesa

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