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PHOTOS: Occupy Arts Calls for Restoration of Arts Commission

Protest occurs on eve of legislative gathering to vote on vetoes.

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 .

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.

SCNEOCON July 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Good to see there are some common sense people left in our state. Sometimes it seems like the vocal minority is the only opinion getting heard.
SCNEOCON July 18, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Thank you, Joan! I'm with you. Go Team Nikki!!!
William Steve Brodie July 18, 2012 at 03:01 AM
There is so much more to the arts than simply drawing, dancing or singing. Life is more than going to work, eating, then going to bed to rest up to go to work again the next day. Creativity needs to be developed and the creation of art is one of the major defining characteristic of a human being. The world needs beauty just as much as it needs clean air. Take a look around yourself and almost everything you see was influenced by the arts. Now more than ever we need the government to support artistic endeavors.
Ms. Correct July 19, 2012 at 02:31 AM
The gentleman in the first photo is KEN MAY the current Executive Director of the SC ARTS COMMISSION.
john bauer July 19, 2012 at 02:38 AM
you tell them, cutting worthy programs, going on very unnecessary trips, the good ole boy system will never die, if we do not stand up and say no...

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