When The Money Isn’t There

In Austin, arts supporters have been upset over the way the city allocates the funds it receives from the municipal hotel tax, which is earmarked for cultural activities. But the city insists that this year’s 30% cut in funding was necessary because of the slumping tourism industry. The city’s arts leaders are currently working on a series of economic impact studies, which they hope will convince civic officials that the arts are the type of investment that returns more money to the community than it takes out. But such studies tend to be difficult to quantify.