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NEA to get more money

October 29, 2003|Diane Haithman

Things are looking better for arts funding on the national level than for the state. While the state of California has slashed its funding for the arts to $1 million for 2003-04 -- less than 3 cents per person -- the National Endowment for the Arts will receive an increase of $6.7 million, raising the budget of the federal arts agency to $122.5 million for fiscal 2004.

The decision comes just weeks after the passage of the 2004 Defense Appropriations bill that included $1 million earmarked for the NEA to bring its Shakespeare in American Communities program to U.S. military bases.

Hailing the increased funding as "a new era at the NEA," agency chairman Dana Gioia says the $6.7 million will support local arts groups, as well as expand the national Shakespeare and Jazz Masters programs.

Cash-strapped California will benefit from the Shakespeare program, which will bring performances to Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, UC Riverside, UC Davis and El Camino College in March and April 2004.

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