Govenor Tim Pawlenty's latest budget-balancing idea is sure to appeal to folks who are bad at math.
The Governor has proposed phasing out funding of the Minnesota State Arts Board by 2011 to zero. The ten million reduction under his proposal won't do a thing to balance Minnesota's five billion dollar deficit, but the Governor wants to dismantle the State Arts Board anyway, turning it into a "privatized" nonprofit organization.
Not only artists suffer from the plan (yes, artists pay income taxes too). Here's a partial list of who gets hurt by Governor Pawlenty's not-too-bright idea:
The State and Orpheum theaters, the Guthrie Theatre, the Minneapolis Children's Theater, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (plus over a hundred other for profit and nonprofit arts organizations).
Downtown Minneapolis & Saint Paul restaurants, parking ramp and lot owners, operators and employees, waitstaff, cooks, buspeople, ticket office staffers, ushers, hospitality industry personnel and arts audiences get shafted as well.
Municipalities lose significant revenue from ticket tax, not to mention tax on monies earned by restaurants, bars, parking facilities, transportation providers, the Metropolitan Transit Commission, limo drivers and restaurateurs.
Taxpayers get the short end of the stick if this proposal becomes law.
Crippling the Arts in Minnesota won't help balance the State budget.
The Arts accounted for over $1 Billion in economic activity in Minnesota alone last year.
In Minnesota, every dollar government invests in the arts returns $11.
Take away the performing arts, museums, art galleries, dance companies, theater and concerts, and you'll turn the Twin Cities area into Omaha with pro sports.