Privatizing The Arts In L.A.

Los Angeles mayor James Hahn has sent a letter to local arts groups informing them that he plans to slash the budget of the city’s Cultural Affairs Department and transfer the money to “basic services” such as public safety and street repair. The exact dollar amount of the mayor’s cutback hasn’t been specified, but current budget projections show a cut of nearly 60%. In place of direct subsidies, Mayor Hahn is creating a council of wealthy Angelenos to encourage private donations to the arts.