San Diego City Manager John Lockwood on Tuesday said that his proposed $1.2-billion city budget for the upcoming fiscal year contains "a lot of zeros" when it comes to city funding for arts organizations.
The budget that Lockwood formally released during a Tuesday press conference at City Hall would virtually eliminate funding for large and small arts organizations, which in the past have grown to depend upon city money.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday May 18, 1990 San Diego County Edition Calendar Part F Page 8 Column 3 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
Playhouse funding--An article in Wednesday's edition incorrectly stated that the La Jolla Playhouse received $244,000 in city Transit Occupancy Tax money during the current fiscal year. The correct figure is $129,600. The Playhouse has requested $244,000 in TOT funds during the upcoming fiscal year.
The cuts would affect a wide range of arts organizations. Both the Old Globe Theater and the La Jolla Playhouse, which received $666,000 and $244,000, respectively, from the city during the current year, will receive nothing if council adopts Lockwood's proposed budget.
In past years, the city has used the bulk of its transit occupancy tax receipts, which are generated by a tax on hotel bills, to finance arts programs and "promotional" events such as the Holiday Bowl. The TOT funds were used to promote arts groups on the theory that the city's rich cultural-events calendar attracts tourists who bolster the local economy.
But, faced with a likely $60-million budget shortfall, Lockwood has proposed that the city cut funding for the arts and use the TOT funds to maintain city services such as police protection and recreation.