About 60 local arts leaders gathered at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas this morning for Arts Advocacy Day. The event is designed to help arts leaders more effectively lobby city government officials for funding.
Ray Perryman, a Waco economist who authored an oft-cited study of the arts’ economic impact in Texas, was the keynote speaker.
He told the crowd that cutting arts funding actually stalls the creativity needed to drive other areas of the economy.
PERRYMAN: “Unless you have a dedicated effort to make sure that the arts are invested in, they’re going to lag behind everything else. The paradox is that if that happens for a long enough period of time, then you’ve choked off the creative process that allows all those other great things to happen.”
Next year’s city budget calls for a 17 percent cut for cultural funding. A series of budget townhall meetings will be held over the next several weeks before the final budget is adopted in late September.
Check back later for a Q&A with Perryman, in which he passes along some tips for arts advocates.