Update 7/20: Our friend at the AJC, Kristi Swartz, wrote an article on the stimulus money coming to Atlanta’s arts scene. She gets the money quote: “This is shockingly irresponsible government. Somebody needs to tell Washington that we’re in a serious recession,” said Kelly McCutchen, executive vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. “The average Georgia family is worried about paying rent and utility bills and not going to the opera on a Saturday night.”
The NEA acted swiftly upon Congressional and Presidential approval of $50 million in economic stimulus funding in late February. It is one of the first federal agencies to disseminate stimulus funding in support of local economies.
The arts industry generates millions of jobs and is an essential contributor to the economic and cultural vitality of the United States. Applications from arts organizations nationwide poured into the NEA seeking non-matching, one-time grants of $25,000 or $50,000 for projects that focus on job preservation. While the need for support far exceeds available federal resources, 631 arts organizations nationwide received NEA stimulus grants.”