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Pennsylvania State Budget Update

What the 2013-14 budget means for arts and culture.

Late in the day on Sunday, June 30th, Governor Tom Corbett signed a $28.4 billion budget for FY 2013-14 into law. The news for arts, culture and heritage is mixed—funding remained level for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a new line item was added for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; but PHMC General Government Support was decreased, and we did not see any significant increases in new funding for arts and culture this year.

The budget breakdown for key arts and culture line items is as follows, courtesy of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania:

State Agency FY 13-14 Budget FY 2012-13 Budget Difference
PCA - Administration $886,000 $886,000 $0
PCA - Grants $8.2 million $8.2 million $0
PHMC - Gen. Gov't Support $17.3 million $17.8 million ($507,000)
PHMC - Cultural and Historical Support (new line item) $2 million $0 $2 million
Tourism Marketing - Zoos $550,000 $450,000 $100,000

GroundSwell and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance have also put together an analysis of these figures:

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts - Level Administrative Funding
The PCA’s Administrative funding remains the same as last year, despite a recommended increase to $919,000 for Adminstrative funding in the Governor's initial budget proposal back in February.

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts - Level Grants Funding
While PCA Grants funding also remains level in respect to last year's budget, we recall that in FY 2007-08, the PCA’s grants to the arts were funded at $15.2 million. The current level of $8.2 million (a 47% decrease) is the result of several consecutive years of cuts, which included the elimination of one of the PCA’s most sought-after funding streams, its individual artist fellowships. In the run-up to final decisions on the budget, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania was recommending an increase to $10 million for arts grants through the PCA.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - General Government Support
General Government Support for PHMC was cut by $507,000, despite a recommendation of $18.5 million (a 3.8% increase) in Governor Corbett's initial budget proposal.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - Cultural and Historical Support
While general funding for PHMC was decreased, this year's budget includes a new Cultural and Historical Support line item for PHMC, providing $2 million for grants to eligible museums. This line replaces the former Museum Assistance Grants line, which was zeroed-out several years ago.

Tourism Marketing - Zoos
After facing a potential zeroed-out budget in the Governor's 2012-2013 budget proposal (which was ultimately restored to $450,000 level funding in the final approved budget), the line item for Zoos was actually increased this year by $100,000.

A full budget summary is available on Senate Appropriations Committe Chair Jake Corman's website here.

Arts and culture are crucial to the vibrancy of our region, strengthening our economy, enhancing a sense of place and community for our residents, and attracting millions of tourists and visitors to Pennsylvania each year. For other arts and culture policy updates and action alerts, sign up for GroundSwell, where you'll also receive information and opportunities to take action on issues you care about in your community.