President Trump's proposed cuts to arts, public media strike sour note in Louisville
Mayor Greg Fischer calls the arts the "soul of any city."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Trump wants to cut federal funding to the arts and to public radio and TV, and for some in Louisville, that is not a pretty picture.
No one is saying the cuts would kill the arts or public media in Louisville, but they fear it would cause some wounds.
Mayor Greg Fischer kicked off his Music and Arts series at Metro Hall on Friday with a free concert.
"The arts are the soul of any city, and they're really the soul of Louisville. We have just tremendous artists here," Fischer told WDRB.
That's why the mayor says the President's plan to cut the National Endowment for the Arts hits the wrong note.
"They're taking swipes at the really insignificant parts of the budget, like the National Endowment for the Arts, and the humanities as well, that help inspire so many people," he said.
The president is also planning to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund public radio and TV.
Louisville Public Media, which operates three radio stations in Louisville, gets about 10 percent of its $5 million budget from tax dollars.
"I think we would be able to make it up in other ways. Thankfully, we have the resources to do that," said Daniel Gilliam, LPM's director of radio.
Gilliam says he's more concerned about public radio and arts groups in the more rural parts of the state.
"And really, when you think about it, arts and humanities and culture are needed most in those rural communities. We have a plethora of things to choose from here, but Paducah and Owensboro may only have a few options," he said.
Kentucky Educational Television stands to lose 15 percent of its budget, about $3.5 million.
In a statement, KET called on its supporters to contact the members of Congress who represent them.
"KET is one of the nation's largest public broadcasting networks and the largest nonprofit GED education publisher in the country," the statement read. "As one of the most-trusted sources for educational programs and services, KET is used in every Kentucky public school and by more than one million people each week."
Trump supporters say no one likes to cut, but the country needs to prioritize where its tax dollars go.
"I believe that you have to make decisions about how to cut spending if you're going into debt," said Jim Stansbury, chairman of the Louisville Republican Party.
Stansbury says defense and Homeland Security should be the budget priorities.
"My preference is to spend it on things that are outlined specifically in the Constitution," he said.
But the mayor believes it's unlikely that many of the President's proposed cuts to arts and public media will end up in the final budget.
"I feel good that once it goes over to Congress, they'll take a look at that and say these are investments in the American people," he said. "They need to stay in."
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