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Arts Funding on Chopping Block
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--Crews are working hard peeling, chipping, and revamping the outside of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art into a masterpiece.
"We want to create an open civic kind of plaza, said museum interim director, Sean Ulmer. People can sit and congregate, we'll be able to put outdoor pieces of sculpture."
It's part of the museum's plan to keep art alive in the city.
"Arts are a vital part of the community," Ulmer said.
A vital part that may soon take a drastic hit.
A US house subcommittee has approved a $71 million cut in federal funding for the arts, a nearly 50 percent decrease.
"That's going to make it just that much harder to keep our doors open," said Casey Prince, executive director of Theatre Cedar Rapids.
Federal grants help keep the lights on and pay for behind the scenes production at the theater.
The group has more than 120 show nights a year-- a number that may change without federal dollars.
"That's a lot of museums and theaters and symphonies that this state takes a lot of pride in that are going to be hurting, Prince said.
The museum and several other companies have stared a letter campaign, asking Congress not to make the proposed cuts.