Andrew Tanielian, NBC 5 Reporter
The first draft of the City of Fort Worth's budget slashes arts funding by a quarter, so the Arts Council of Fort Worth is trying to convince the council to change its mind.
The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County is trying to convince the City Council to restore funding cut in Fort Worth's proposed budget.
The arts council received more than $1 million this fiscal year. The city's first budget draft for the next fiscal year slashes arts funding by a quarter.
The organization is asking the City Council for a portion of the city's hotel-occupancy tax. The city said an organization must meet certain requirements before getting a portion of the tax.
“We want to make sure they understand that it’s an investment and any dollar that they put into the arts comes back to them,” said Joy Ulich, Arts Council president.
Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts vice president of research and policy, said the arts are more than food for the soul. He said he spent two years conducting a study that proves the arts for a moneymaker for Fort Worth.
“It lets us know that they are businesses and that they employ in Fort Worth," he said. "More than 3,000 jobs are supported by the arts.”
Ulich said the Arts Council would have to ask private donors for more.
"The problem is that continued fundraising like that sometimes is not sustainable," she said. "We might have some people come and help us this year, but the arts need to be sustained."
The city calls the first draft of the budget a maintenance budget. The biggest priorities are funding for police, fire and transportation.