The advocacy group, Texan for the Arts (TFA) — whose mission it is to support, protect, and increase the statewide public funding of the arts — assisted in acquiring the largest single increase and the largest total budget for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) in the state agency’s history.
On June 15th, 2019, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed the budget into law as part of the HB 1 (House Bill 1), after many weeks for deliberations and debates. The final budget approved in the 86th Texas Legislative Session for the Texas Commission on the Arts is $16,443,083 for 2019-2020 and $11,493,038 for 2020-2021.
The funding includes a restoration of $5 million initially appropriated in the 84th Session and cut in the 85th Session, and a supplementary increase of $5 million for a total of $10 million for the TCA’s Cultural District grant program. Additionally, $250,000 will be allocated for the TCA’s Arts Respond grants that explicitly fund programs that use the arts to help with veterans and active duty service men and women and their families to cope with the hardships of their daily lives.
The TFA affirmed in a statement that “[t]hese funds will make a significant difference in the Texas Commission on the Arts’ capacity to reach even more citizens across the state with dynamic, engaging, thoughtful and community enriching cultural and arts programming.”
For a complete review of the budget, click here. The Texas Commission on the Arts is on pages 11-I3.