Threats of funding cuts in PA…

Arts fans rally at Harrisburg Capitol
by DAVID N. DUNKLE, Of The Patriot-News
Tuesday July 14, 2009, 5:26 PM

DAN GLEITER, The Patriot-News
A rally to save arts funding in Pennsylvania is held in the state Capitol Rotunda.

More than 300 people representing arts and cultural groups from across the state came to Harrisburg’s Capitol Tuesday morning to protest the possible elimination of state aid for the arts.
Rally attenders, many sporting “Arts=Jobs” T-shirts, gathered in the Rotunda to hear speakers talk about both the economic and aesthetic impact of the arts. Rally organizers said arts and culture generate about 62,000 jobs and contribute nearly $2 billion to the state economy.
“We need the legislators to be aware that arts jobs are real jobs,” said Jenny Hershour, executive director of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, the non-profit group that organized the rally.

DAN GLEITER, The Patriot-News
Butch Imhoff of Reading, a promoter of local and regional acts, holds a guitar while taking part in the arts rally.

Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposed budget calls for $14 million in state aid for the arts, but with the state budget impasse now in its third week, Republicans in the State Senate recently approved a bill that would eliminate all aid for the arts and close down the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. That would make Pennsylvania the only state with no aid for the arts and no arts council, according to Hershour.

DAN GLEITER, The Patriot-News
Monica Rodrigo of Philadelphia, president of the board of Raices Culturales Latino Americanas, takes part in the arts rally.

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