Jackson cuts funds to Greater Jackson Arts Council - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson cuts funds to Greater Jackson Arts Council

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The City of Jackson budget ax has come down again - this time zeroing out money given to the Greater Jackson Arts Council. 

Representatives of the community agency say this is a shocking move and will have a ripple effect in the city.

First the city closes a historic golf course, then a library and now the arts are taking a hit.

Calling it a slap in the face to the citizens, Jon Salem with GJAC said Monday, Jackson leaders slashed every penny. 

"What is that going to do?" asked Salem. "What's at stake. It's going to be devastating for us. We have a small budget, we stretch dollars very far. The unconscionable thing is that for the city, this is a small investment and a very high benefit."

With a small budget of $500,000 yearly, gleaned from various funding sources, 25 percent of that will be axed October 1.  

"We took a 12 percent cut this year and we are perfectly aware of what they are facing with the budget," added Salem. "We were anticipating a budget cut, but we never imagined we would be zeroed out." 

The Arts Council gives grants to teachers for art supplies, to the International Ballet Competition, the Jackson symphony and multitudes of others.

"We serve the entire community. We serve, particularly, artists of color, under served communities, low income students," said Salem. "There are going to be real people hurt by this decision."

The Arts Council is now rallying its troops asking them to save the arts by showing up at the Jackson City Council meeting in opposition to the budget cut.

The Greater Jackson Arts Council is also a catalyst to funnel grant money to the citizens of Jackson from regional, state and national entities - a role they say is now in jeopardy.

Salem says former and current recipients of GJAC support grants are encouraged to share their stories using #SaveTheArts. 

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