Arts budgets scheduled to take another hit in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania’s FY2010 state budget is only three months old. However, on the normal budget calendar, this is considered to be halfway through the year. According to Governor Rendell, revenues are far less than projected. In December, he announced the budget would be “frozen”, or trimmed by $162 million.  Last week, the details of the cuts were made available.

Despite all that has been fought for during the past year – arts and culture in Pennsylvania is again on the chopping block.

The breakdown is as follows:

– The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), will see its administrative support drop an additional $10,000, to $982,000 (-24%), and its Grants to the Arts funding fall an added $1 million, to $10 million (-34%).

– The $3.1 million Cultural Preservation Assistance line, which was newly-created in the FY2010 budget and was intended to  provide support for the Heinz History Center, as well as nine museums previously funded through line items under the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and other cultural organizations, has been zeroed out. This funding has been re-distributed throughout the budget as noted.

– Support for Public Television also drops further, from $1 million to $500,000 (-94%). This funding supports a network of eight public broadcasting companies across Pennsylvania, including WHYY and MiND Media (WYBE).

– State support for Zoos, through a DCED line entitled “Tourism

– Accredited Zoos,” drops further, from $1.2 million to zero.

– State support for the University of the Arts drops an additional $136,000, to $135,000 (-89%).

– Museum Assistance Grants through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a competitive grant program for museums across the state, will see its appropriations drop an additional $500,000, to $1.3 million (-66%). PHMC’s General Government Operations funding, which enables it to maintain a network of state-owned museums and historical sites, will see a further reduction in funding of $195,000, to $19.3 million (-25%).

– Funding for a group of nine individual museums, commonly known as “nonpreferreds” because of the nature of their line items’ structure, has been cut an additional 50% from the initial FY2010 appropriation for each institution.

– Support for Regional History Centers, initially at $175,000 in FY2010, has been zeroed out.