Letters for the Week of April 20 

Readers sound off on Oakland trees, landlords, and art galleries.

Page 3 of 3

Megan C. Timberlake

Atchison Village Mutual Homes

Richmond

Threat to Art

The US House of Representatives is on track to cut $43 million from the National Endowment for the Arts' budget of $167.5 million. That's a 26 percent cut — the deepest in sixteen years!

Not only do the arts mean jobs, but for cities like Oakland and San Francisco, the arts have been a fundamental part of supporting youth. Through artistic expression, the lives of youth in our community have literally been saved.

I have worked as a teaching artist, through local theaters and in public schools. As an actor, I have worked with adult actors, for whom artistic work was the saving grace of their life. This is true of artists of all colors. One of the things that I am proud of living in Oakland (where there is so much to bemoan) is the way we unite around art as a community, expressing our vibrant and multicultural life force.

Federal funding for the arts leverages private funding. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients, a match far exceeded by most grantees. On average, each NEA grant leverages at least $7 from other state, local, and private sources. Private support cannot match the leveraging role of government cultural funding.

Susan-Jane Harrison, Oakland

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