New police jury budget will affect arts organizations
Last week, the Dorcheat Historical Museum voiced its reaction to the 2018 Webster Parish Police Jury budget and its cut to arts funding. However, the museum is not the only entity affected.
Cultural Crossroads, an arts organization serving Minden for 25 years, will also lose funding from these cuts. Co-founder Chris Broussard said that while cuts were expected, the abruptness of the total cut was another matter.
“This will definitely change the direction for us,” she said. “We suffered serious cuts in state funding for the arts over the years, and the police jury funds were a huge source of support. We were prepared to lose it over time, but all at once will certainly come with extra challenges. But it is what it is.”
As reported last week, the police jury struck the $15,000 arts/museums line item from the budget at the December 5 meeting. This sum was primarily split between the museum and Cultural Crossroads.
Broussard said this development could affect the parish as a whole beyond Cultural Crossroads itself.
“Cutting funding to quality-of-life issues for our parish will certainly affect our ability to entice businesses and tourism,” she said.
Julie Vogel, president of Cultural Crossroads, said she sympathizes with the police jury’s situation.
“Of course we’re disappointed – we’ve always worked well with the police jury,” she said. “But we also understand that state budgets and things like that have been really tight. Just like any organization, especially nonprofits, you have to cut back. There’s nothing we can really do about it.”
Vogel said these changes may force them to cut back, but their goals will not change.
“We’ll maybe have to lose some of our events,” she said. “We’ve foreseen this coming for a while, and we’re trying to become more self-sufficient with rentals of the farm and things like that to help offset some of that cost. Hopefully the town will keep supporting us and we’ll be able to keep supporting the kids and continue with our mission.”