As part of the state's budget grinchery, the Virginia Commission for the Arts has cut $100,000 in funds to Richmond-area groups.
The Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, the Barksdale Theatre and Theatre IV were hardest hit, each losing $13,838. The commission cut $10,394 from the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Most of the grants were designated for operations.
This round of cuts may be relatively painless, however, compared with what may be on the horizon in the coming months, says Art 180's executive director, Marlene Paul.
“I think we'll be more concerned with the fiscal year after [this] because they base the amount that they give you on your income from the year before,” she says. The tanking economy has led to reduced operating income for many arts groups, which means the state will kick in fewer dollars in the next budget.
In recent cuts, Art 180 lost $4,022 of the $32,700 the state had initially committed. Paul says the state grant represents less than 10 percent of Art 180's budget.
“We saw it coming,” says the symphony's executive director, David Fisk. This may be a silver lining. “Because the hit kind of reached us all in the second quarter we still have the third and fourth quarters to adjust our plans and absorb what has certainly been a very challenging quarter,” he says.