City Cultural Council Urges Patrons To Lobby Against Proposed Cuts

Aug 14, 2013

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is hoping for some relief from a 14 percent budget cut handed down by the Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee last week.

Executive Director Robert Arleigh White sent an email to supporters this week asking them to lobby the City Council to restore the funding.

A display in the atrium of Jacksonville City Hall asks people to lobby for the arts. City legislators have proposed a 14 percent budget cut for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

The Cultural Council allocates funds to Jacksonville arts and cultural organizations including WJCT.

White says the $345,000 budget cut would have a devastating effect on the cultural community, citing a study by the University of North Florida's Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives that estimated the arts had a $58 million impact on the area's economy in 2011.  He says that translates to a loss of $7 million to city businesses if the funding decrease goes through as planned.

The cuts are featured in the "Advocacy Action Center" section of the Cultural Council's website, which includes a pre-written template letter to city legislators against the cuts.

Hearings on the city budget continue Thursday.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.