Florida legislature passed a budget that cut art program funding from 25 million last year to 2.6 million.
Florida art programs take another funding cut from the state legislature. Funding for art programs has been dropping since 2014.
Last year art programs were allotted $25 million. This year, it’s down to $2.6 million.
For local non-profits, this means losing grants that are needed to fund art programs. The Quality of Life Center just lost a $25,000 grant that was used to pay staff, put on summer art programs and help collaborate with other organizations to provide free dance lessons to students and the community.
“We rely on funding for everything because we’re a non-profit, so when anything is cut it does affect us,” said Keisha Allen, Chief Operating Officer for The Quality of Life Center. “We fight for every penny that we get, and if we don’t get it, we have to find ways to either fundraise more or to do things that will help generate more money.”
Cutting funding doesn’t mean cutting art programs. They plan to keep all of the art programs despite the loss. They believe art helps the children’s lives on many levels.
“They’re building their confidence through the arts, but it trickles through academics, through home life and social skills, so when it’s cut it really hurts. But our programs are focused on Arts Character and Education so we’re still going to do it,” Allen said.
The Florida legislature made the cuts to the budget. We have reached out to state lawmakers from our area that were a part of the vote, but have not heard back from them.
For now, the Quality of Life Center and other places like it have to find a way to survive.
“We’re just going to continue to fight. We’re going to keep writing grants. We’re going to keep reaching out, have our community support us our parents support us and we’ll just keep pushing through it,” Allen said.