Amid slashed budgets, New Jersey arts council sees increase

    Even with a 15 percent cut in the New Jersey State Department’s budget, funding for the State Arts Council will be up a bit from last year.

    Even with a 15 percent cut in the New Jersey State Department’s budget, funding for the State Council on the Arts will be up a bit from last year.

    Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, appearing before lawmakers in her role as Secretary of State, says, even in these tough economic times, funding for the arts is being preserved. $16 million for the State Council of the Arts will come from a percentage of the revenue generated from the state’s motel and hotel tax.

    Guadagno says spending government funds on the arts has an enormous return on investment.

    “Arts organizations supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts return three dollars in tax revenue for every one dollar invested totaling $41 million annually.”

    ArtPride New Jersey executive director Ann Marie Miller says, while the state funds are not enough to meet the growing needs of arts groups, she’s grateful for continued public assistance.

    “The need has increased tremendously over time and there are organizations all over the state that are suffocating to some degree,” says Miller. “So, no, it’s not enough. But it is something which is to be grateful for.”

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