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Despite Tight Budget, Advocates Want Ohio To Increase Arts Funding


Lower than projected state tax revenue totals will make budgeting more difficult for Ohio’s lawmakers in the coming weeks. Advocates for the arts know the tight budget threatens their funding but it's not keeping them from making a case to save those dollars.


The Executive Director of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, Bill Behrendt, says it’s important state leaders give the Ohio Arts Council at least $34 million, a slight increase. He says it’s important to keep that funding – especially for smaller communities.

“It’s the rural counties that probably see the bigger impact because they are not in Cleveland, Cincinnati or Columbus that have these traditional donor bases that can step up when public funds go down.”

Behrendt says the arts create 231,000 jobs statewide, add $32 billion to the state’s economy, and generate more than $3 billion a year in local, state and federal tax revenues.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.