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Arts Funding Cut and One Arts Leader Says That’s Bad for Business

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Alliance for the Arts
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As WGCU News has been reporting this week, the Florida Legislature’s newly approved budget includes severe cuts to cultural affairs programing. The new nearly $89 billion dollar budget would almost completely defund the Culture Builds grant program from the Division of Cultural Affairs

The division was already receiving only about one-15th of one percent of the state budget in past years. That’s 0.06 percent, rounding up.

Lydia Black is the executive director of the nonprofit Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers.

She joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about how this could impact not only local arts offerings but also the economic impact outside of the arts — in areas like tourism and mental health.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.