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December 29, 2003

Is It Any Wonder?

This is from a San Antonio news site: (http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=180&xlc=1105710 - you'll have to scroll down the page to find the story)

Texas near bottom in arts funding

DALLAS — Texas ranked second to last in federal funding for the arts in 2003, in proportion to its population.

The National Endowment for the Arts, which supports arts organizations, gave $88.3 million to 50 states in fiscal year 2003. Of that, Texas received 12 cents for every person in the state, the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.

Only Florida ranked lower, bringing in 8 cents per capita. The District of Columbia topped the list with $6.13 per capita. U.S. territories Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands received more money per capita than Texas did.

New York fared the best among the 10 most populous states, with 71 cents per capita, the newspaper reported.

So I just have to ask - is it any wonder that the two states run by the Bush family have the lowest per capita spending of NEA money? It speaks volumes of their citizens. The residents of these states have either been brainwashed into thinking the NEA is a left wing entitlement program, or just don't care about the arts (yes, that is a broad, sweeping generalization and I know there are some fine art museums and other cultural institutes in both these states, but there is obviously some problem). I would bet it is a little of both. Notice how the author seems astonished that the US territories got more money than a state. Well, you have to APPLY for NEA grants. If you don't get the money for them it means the residents of your state probably didn't ask, or the projects they submitted were not deemed worthy. In any case it is a pretty dismal story and one that probably should be looked into further.