- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Security could be eliminated at dozens of exhibits and events at the Mississippi Arts Center due to cuts in the Jackson city budget.

Beginning Oct. 1, Janet Scott, executive director of the Greater Jackson Arts Council, told The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1DseKLV ) the arts council could see a 30 percent reduction in its funding.

In addition to security, the council may have to cut grants it makes to local artists and cultural events.

“The proposed 30 percent cut would be devastating, We are a small staff - only two full time, one three-fourths time and a part-time curator,” she said. “All programs - our community grants, technical assistance initiatives and ongoing work to improve the long-neglected Arts Center will suffer in a way that will impact our underserved constituents.”

Jackson Human and Cultural Services Deputy Director Michael Raff said the cut could still be reversed. He said the city is considering requiring non-city departments and agencies in the Arts Center to pay for security for night and weekend events.

“We provide free rent,” Raff said. “We are asking them to help provide their own security.”

The Greater Jackson Arts Council receives $140,000 a year from the city of Jackson.

The Arts Council said just as the city is slashing its arts funding, it is starting work on $75,000 in renovations to the city-owned Arts Center, which is located across a courtyard from the separate Mississippi Museum of Art.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com


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