News and Features

Sunset Review Says Texas Arts Commish Should Stay

The Texas Arts Commission would have been zeroed out under Governor Rick Perry’s budget last year, but the Lege disagreed, instead cutting its funding by more than half ($8.3 mill to $3.7 mill). But as the 2012 legislation looms, the DMN reports, the state’s Sunset Advisory Commission recommended the TAC be re-upped for another 12 years because it does a good job, with what little it has, in boosting economic development:

Investment of state money in the arts stimulates economic development and draws more than $1 million in federal and regional arts funding to Texas that wouldn’t be available otherwise, the report said.

It recommended that the Texas Commission on the Arts be renewed for 12 years but that its governing board be reduced from 17 members to nine because the workload doesn’t require such a large board.

A requirement that at least two board members come from counties with populations below 50,000 would remain, according the recommendations. Another suggestion was that the Legislature give clear authority for the commission’s grant-making practices.

Lawmakers will decide whether to follow those suggestions when they meet in January.

In North Texas, last year’s grant recipients included Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Color Me Empowered and the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas.