Nutter supports arts groups even amid cuts

March 8, 2009 1:31:37 PM PDT
Arts and cultural organizations are often the first to go when the budget ax swings. In Philadelphia and around the country, the arts are suffering amid drained municipal and state budgets and eroded donations.

But Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the arts are even more valuable in tough economic times when people need a boost. He says arts funding needs to be protected as much as possible.

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund's budget for fiscal 2009 was cut by 24 percent from the initial spending plan. However, that's still an overall budget increase from the previous fiscal year.

Nutter says arts and culture in the region employs 40,000 people and generates more than $1 billion in economic activity every year.

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