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$396M for arts – State support up $30M

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States and territories in the U.S. will spend a record $396 million this year to promote the arts – almost four times the amount the National Endowment for the Arts plans to spend, the Associated Press reports.

The projected spending total for the 50 states and six U.S. territories grew more than $30 million since last year, dwarfing the NEA budget of $100 million, AP says.

California – the most populous state – will lead arts spending with a projected budget of $47.5 million.

But based on population, Hawaii ranks first, spending nearly $541 per resident.

Texas ranked last in arts spending per resident, budgeting less than $27 per person for the arts.

“Increasing state arts agency support is a bipartisan effort,” Jonathan Katz, head of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, told AP..

Governors and legislators realize that arts provide children with work force skills and make communities better places, he said.

The assembly, which announced the state arts budgets on Monday, called the total a “relatively modest investment” in the arts – 81 cents for every $1,000 that state governments spend, AP says.

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