Calls to save the arts amid proposed budget cuts in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As the coronavirus pandemic drastically undermines the economy, many of Philadelphia's cultural organizations are fighting to save the arts after Mayor Jim Kenney proposed a new city budget that would eliminate those programs.

High school Junior Justin Griggs plays 26 different instruments, and yes, he sings.

Talent is being cultivated at student workshops at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz. It's one of 349 organizations that gets dollars for its programming from the city's cultural fund which is eliminated under Mayor Kenney's revised budget proposal for next year.

"It's upsetting, very upsetting, honestly the Clef Club is my second home," said Griggs.

Protestors have been rallying to redirect money from other areas to the cultural fund while a grassroots movement online has garnered the support of well-known Philadelphia artists, including DJ Jazzy Jeff who is calling on city leaders to save the arts.

Recording artist Jeff Bradshaw calls the cut personal.

"I come from the projects of North Philadelphia, we had art classes and rec centers. To take away the culture and arts and the accessibility of it from the community is horrible," said Bradshaw.

Sources tell Action News that City Council is deliberating restoring some level of funding to Arts & Culture and for anti-poverty measures.
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