ArtStart Rhinelander was among the groups appearing before the Assembly Tourism committee this week supporting a bill providing arts grant funding as part of economic development.
AB 760 would provide grants up to $40,000, with an annual cap of $250,000 total per year.
Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander is a member of the Tourism committee..
"....we heard a lot of testimony from group like ArtStart in Rhinelander, for instance...."
Swearingen says the arts community provides a large amount of economic development....
"....I believe some of the figures were $535 million dollars in activity resulting in $65 million in state and local revenues. They employ about 50,000 jobs across the state, so they're big players and I think Wisconsin has plenty more room for arts in the state. I think this bill is certainly worth taking a second look at(it)...."
Swearingen says the money for the bill would be what's called "found money", or money transferred from other areas as it wasn't in the approved budget. He says finding the money for the bill would be up to the Joint Committee on Finance.