It reads like a boulevard of broken artistic dreams. Among the items being “zeroed out” of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget is $378,712 for the Stamford Center for the Arts; $531,525 for the Maritime Center Authority; $1.98 million for the Culture, Tourism and Art Grant; $210,396 for the CT Trust for Historic Preservation; $2.1 million for the Connecticut Humanities Council; $797,287 for the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas; $354,350 for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo; $620,112 for Mystic Aquarium; $378,712 for the Palace Theater in New Haven; $95,674 for the Stowe/Twain Homes; and $150,000 for the Ivoryton Playhouse.
The grants structure, if approved by the General Assembly, would roll Arts, Culture and Tourism grants into a Statewide Marketing account “for better coordination of program spending,” Malloy’s budget says. Budgeted for $15 million in the current fiscal year, it would rise to $25 million in Malloy’s budget.
Benjamin Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, said that the recommended cuts may not mean the end of state support for landmarks like the zoo. It’s just going to get more competitive.
“We think that while we appreciate the importance of so many cultural instituions, we think they should compete for public funds based on their management and the way they provide the best value to Connecticut taxpayers,” Barnes said in a Wednesday night interview.