Here's a dirty little secret that's slipped by in recent days:
Yes. 1987 levels. If city funding is drying up at such a rate, you can imagine our "non-for-profit" theatres will be taking even fewer chances alienating...well, anyone.
The Bloomberg administration is once again proposing a decrease in funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs next year -– a reduction of more than $37 million from the current year, to $102.2 million, according to the Independent Budget Office. This represents the largest proposed cut in two decades.
This latest budget leaves the members of the Cultural Institutions Group or CIGs (the 34 cultural groups in city owned buildings) with cash subsidies roughly equivalent to 1989. The remaining arts groups are getting funding slightly above 1987 levels.
One of the mysteries of this administration is the steady decline in cultural affairs budgets proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In his first budget, he recommended $110.4 million. Some in the cultural sector have interpreted this downward pattern to mean that Mayor Bloomberg is not convinced that public dollars should be used to fund cultural programming.
(via GothamGazette, emphasis mine)