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Arts and Culture is Economic Engine that Provides 62,000 Jobs, Generates Almost $300 Million in State and Local Tax Revenues.

Harrisburg, June 7, 2011 – Senator Larry Farnese and other state senators today joined arts and cultural organizations from across Pennsylvania to protest the budget currently before the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

“Arts and culture is a job creator and an economic engine for the state and the region” SAID Senator Farnese.  “Our state spends relatively little on arts and culture, and in return the sector provides 62,000 jobs and generates almost $300 million dollars in state and local tax revenues.”

If enacted, HB 1485 will reduce or eliminate funding to major cultural institutions, arts and music education programs, community development projects and to arts and cultural programs across the state.

“Arts and Culture is how Pennsylvania grows,” said Julie Hawkins, Executive Vice President of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliances

The bill would cut the Commonwealth’s investment in those programs from $8.5 million to $2.5 million and would drop Pennsylvania’s rank from 28th to 46th in the nation in per capita funding of the arts.

“The arts provide nuts and bolts improvement in math scores and other skills,” said Robert Welsh, Executive Director of the non-profit Jump Street, based in Harrisburg.  “

The cuts would amount to a 70% reduction to the granting budget of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), a community focused arts granting agency which helps stimulate Pennsylvania’s creative economy through several key programs.

“The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is an invaluable resource to Pennsylvania,”said Director of Marketing Judy Linsz Ross.  “It enriches our community through jobs and in countless other ways at very little cost to the state.”

“Now is not the time to walk away from our commitments to arts and culture,” said Senator Farnese.  “We were successful two years ago, and I am committed to doing all we can to make sure that the fragile finances of our cultural sector are preserved.”

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