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Funding the arts, one buck at a time

June 16, 2003|Don Shirley

The California Arts Council may soon receive a little unexpected funding in the form of individual dollar bills mailed to Sacramento, with the names of the senders written in red ink on the currency.

The suggested donations would be part of a protest against Gov. Gray Davis' proposed cuts in the council's budget. Grappling with the state's fiscal crisis, he has suggested trimming that budget from $22.4 million to $8.4 million.

The dollar bill idea will be the central course of action suggested at a late-afternoon pro-arts funding rally Wednesday in the parking lot of the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica.

"We'll put our money where our mouth is," said one of the rally organizers, Yorba Linda-based dancer Ramaa Bharadvaj, referring to the $1 contribution campaign. Bharadvaj, who emigrated from India 25 years ago, said artists should become activists on this issue: "If Gandhi had just sat behind a desk and written letters, India wouldn't be independent."

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