You did it. Fulton County rejects proposal to slash arts funding

The measure before the Fulton County Commission to eliminate funding to the Department of Arts & Culture has been defeated. We mentioned this proposal earlier this week, and many of you responded.

Jim Farmer, writing for ArtsATL:

When the proposal came up for a vote, it was unanimous: 6-0 against [Interim County Manager David] Ware’s suggestion. But some of the commissioners expressed reservations, especially William “Bill” Edwards, who feels that metro Atlanta’s arts reach doesn’t extend much outside of downtown. “We are not touching everybody,” he said. “Some artists have not set foot outside of I-20.”

Commissioner Joan Garner, who said she was swamped with phone calls and emails before today’s meeting, seconded the motion to reject the cut after Commissioner Rob Pitts introduced it.

“I think this proposal takes money from an unrelated area,” Garner said. “We have an obligation to think of the big picture. We have to look at all communities, all areas, all kinds of needs. If we were living in ancient Greece, we wouldn’t want to live in Sparta. We would want to live in Athens and its vibrant culture. Let’s find money in the criminal justice department.”

Our deepest thanks to the friends of the Atlanta Film Festival who responded to our call to action and pleas from other arts organizations in Fulton County.