Alaska state arts council has funding restored

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Monday that funding for the Alaska State Council on the Arts would be restored.

“In a word, it means everything,” said the council’s chairman Benjamin Brown. The organization shuttered its doors last month after the governor vetoed its funding on June 28.

Now, with state funding assured, the arts council plans to reopen within the next couple of weeks. Brown says he was forced to sack four staff amid funding uncertainty, he fears the impact that will have on the council’s ability to hire back those positions.

The announcement of the funding for the arts council came as the governor made other big announcements to the budget and for the Permanent Fund dividend.

The arts council receives $700,000 in state funds that are used to capture over $3.2 million in grants and federal funds. In other words, by vetoing the approximately $700,000, the state stood to lose $3.2 million in federal funds.

Additionally, Brown said in a previous interview with KTUU that the vetoes had put about $1.2 million in private funds at risk.

The arts council administers the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank Loan, which lends artwork to public institutions across the state, and many grants for the development of the arts in Alaska.

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