Hundreds of people danced and sang between the raindrops on the steps and in front of the State House on Monday evening, protesting Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget veto that closed the South Carolina Arts Commission.
The gathering was organized by the “Occupy” movement and featured what one would expect from a protest in support of Arts funding—an abundance of singing and dancing and plenty of creativity with signage.
The closing of the Arts Commission was one of the items to get the most attention in Haley’s 81 vetoes of the legislature’s 2012-2013 budget.
In her notes to accompany the veto, Haley said the commission is burdened with high administrative costs and added that she believed funding of the arts be returned to taxpayers, who can decide for themselves what artistic ventures they would like to support.
Later on Tuesday, the state assembly will decide which, if any, of Haley’s vetoes they will attempt to overturn.
The dispute between the creative community and Haley is similar to last year’s battle when the governor cut funding for ETV. The legislature promptly over reversed her decision.
Ken Way, who was the executive director of the Arts Commission until it closed, was one of the leaders of Monday’s event. He told Patch he’s optimistic that funding will be restored by the legislature and the commission will be re-opened.