How Did The Arts Fare In Session 2013?

May 10, 2013

Compared to other states, Florida's legislators are middle of the road when it comes to funding the arts.
Credit Ines Hegedus-Garcia/flickr

Over the course of the recently concluded legislative session, we approached lawmakers with questions from South Florida residents that came out of last February's WLRN-Miami Herald Town Hall.

Here's one:

What's being done to promote and protect development of local artists across the state?

The short answer is: not much.

Representative Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) is sponsoring legislation that would offer incentives to  school districts to cultivate arts programs. He says state funding is hurting.

"The arts and cultural grants that have been provided by the state every single year have been some of the first to be cut and they're almost nonexistent now,” Saunders said.

“If we want to create a state that has a quality of life that attracts people from across the country to come here and move to Florida, we have to make sure we're creating a world that people really want to live in."

According to the National Assembly of State Art Agencies, Florida currently ranks No. 31 in the country for the amount of money set aside by its legislature for arts funding.