Arts Leaders Testify for More Funding for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

by Manny Strauss

TheatreWashington Prez Linda Levy Grossman was one of 25 arts leaders who testified yesterday at the DC City Council Oversight Hearing to request that funding for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities increase for the 2013 District Budget. Her testimony emphasized that theatre creates human connection and a vivacious community. Click here to read her testimony.

The DC Commission is the agency that allocates funding to District arts organizations. In 2009, the Commission’s budget was $13.1 million. But since, their funding has been cut year after year. In 2012, the Commission’s budget had been slashed to an all-time low of $3.9 million. Further, the amount allocated to the arts was a mere 0.03% of the entire District budget. As a result, fewer organizations receive funding and those that do, receive less.

In comparison, in the District alone, audiences spend over $100 million on their arts and culture, with arts organization pumping more than $600 million back into the city.

Following her testimony, Grossman and tW Theatre Services Director Brad Watkins were among those who packed the back room at Andy Shallal’s Busboys and Poets on 14th Street for a discussion with DC Councilmembers Jack Evans, Jim Graham and DCCAH Executive Director Lionell Thomas. Rob Bettman of DC Advocates for the Arts moderated the conversation.

This Saturday, Grossman will be attending the District’s One City Summit to participate in a series of conversations, hosted by Mayor Vincent Gray. This is the opportunity for everyone to express ideas, opinions, and be a part of the process as opposed to being victim to it.

Original Publication URL: