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L.A. arts agency is cut less than 1%

Its budget is more flush than expected in an austere year. The division will receive $9.98 million.

June 04, 2008|Mike Boehm | Times Staff Writer

L.A.'s municipal arts agency took a smaller hit than at first seemed likely under this year's austere city budget.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had proposed cutting the Cultural Affairs Department's spending by 6.1%, but the final $9.98-million department budget for 2008-09 passed by the City Council is down just $89,000, or less than 1% of this year's figure.

Council members came up with an additional $526,000, the largest chunk of which preserves one of their own perks: a $20,000 discretionary fund for cultural projects in each of the 15 council districts, with the respective council members holding the purse strings.

The council also added $150,000 so that the department could qualify for a Durfee Foundation grant that requires matching funds, as well as $68,000 for operations at the Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center in Watts, which is nearing completion, and $8,000 to keep open the Bridge Gallery, located on the pedestrian walkway between the main City Hall building downtown and City Hall East.

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