If passed, budget could mean big cuts to the arts - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

If passed, budget could mean big cuts to the arts

By Bonnie Shelton

WAUSAU (WAOW)--The Governor's proposed budget could mean big cuts to the arts community, including those in Marathon County. If passed as is, some of the shows and events you attend could come to an end.

Grand Theater Executive Director says they receive around 20,000 dollars each year in funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board. The Governor's proposed budget would dissolve the Arts Board as an independent agency and move the remaining funds to the Department of Tourism.

O'Connell said if the Grand loses that funding, you will notice changes to the Grand right away.

"One is the ticket prices would go up a little bit. Second is that we would probably not do as many shows or as great a variety of shows as we have been in the past," he said.

Funding also helps pay for students whose parents can't afford to send them to the theater with their classmates. O'Connell says the Grand isn't alone. Other groups including the Children's Theater and Woodson Art Museum would also take a hit.

According to a press release from the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, current arts board funding is well below one percent of the overall state budget. The proposed funding levels would cut it down even further to around a third of what it is now.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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