For the HuffPo: Arts Leaders Blast NY Gov’s Funding Cuts

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My first piece for the Huffington Post. Here’s the tease:

Three top-ranking members of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) have issued a joint statement blasting New York Gov. David Paterson’s plan to make a dramatic midyear cut in Empire State arts funding.

Part of what is driving Paterson to institute the whopping 40% cut is the terminally dysfunctional state legislature, which is more than one month late approving a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

In a phone interview, NYSCA Chairman Danny Simmons, a noted abstract expressionist and brother of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, told me that Paterson’s cut — knocking appropriations to $25.2 million from $41.6 million — could force untold numbers of New York arts nonprofits to close, and will cost jobs both at the arts agency itself as well as across the state.