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Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 3:47pm

Artists To March On Capitol

Georgia Artists are planning a protest at the State Capitol on Monday to avert budget cuts to the Georgia Council for the Arts.

The current budget proposal, which passed the state house last week eliminates funding for the arts granting arm of the state.

Lawmakers are faced with a massive budget deficit that exceeds one billion dollars, and are trying to cut spending rather than raise taxes.

Elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts, however, would mean that Georgia will be the only state in the country without an arts agency.

Artist advocates worry that many grassroots arts programs in smaller community could vanish without state help. One goal of the agency is to bring arts to every county in Georgia.

The arts council is also the clearinghouse for federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, which gave Georgia more than $800,000 last year.

Those funds could also be at risk.

Earlier in the session students protested massive cuts to the University System of Georgia.

Those cuts were averted after heavy lobbying.

Arts groups around the state have urged their constituents to write their lawmakers.

The General Assembly will be off on Monday, but will return Tuesday with only four days left in this year's session.

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