Cultural capital at risk over cuts - Metro US

Cultural capital at risk over cuts

The arts community is bracing for a wave of closures if proposed state and city funding cuts are approved.

Gov. David Paterson has proposed slashing NY State Council on the Arts grants by nearly 40 percent to $25.2 million — less than it received in 1975, noted Norma Munn, chairwoman of the NYC Arts Coalition. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget calls for a 31 percent cut to the arts.

The outlook for arts groups is “grim,” Munn said. “Some will limp a while and then close, especially the smaller ones or the midsize,” she added.

GenArt, a 16-year-old organization that showcased emerging filmmakers, and the 3-year-old New York Asian Symphony Orchestra already shuttered.

“The mainstream tourist institutions are going to be okay, but the groups that serve neighborhoods will get nailed,” said Kathy Giaimo, administrative director of the Thalia Spanish Theatre in Queens.

Her theater provides work for actors, who, she said, often can’t find work until Hispanic Heritage month. “We’re Hispanic Heritage Month all year long.”

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