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NEA to cut grants by about $12 million


The National Endowment for the Arts is planning to cut $11.9 million in direct grants to artists and arts organization, and will drop several grant categories in fiscal 1991, a spokesman for the federal agency said yesterday.

The spokesman, Randolph McAusland, deputy chairman for programs, said the cuts were required under the federal legislation that extended the life of the agency this fall.

A provision in the law requires an increase of about $12 million in the amount of money the endowment passes on to the states in the present fiscal year. In 1993, state grants will be increased by about $18 million. The agency's total budget is $175 million.

"The money had to come from our program budget," said McAusland. "We are still working on how to do this, but I can say now we will bring our recommendations to the chairman on Friday and release the final decisions next week."

The states are awarded so-called block grants by the federal agency according to a complicated formula. California, the largest recipient, gets about $650,000 and a small state like Delaware gets about $340,000.

In fiscal 1991, each state will receive at least an additional $90,000, said Josh Dare, a spokesman.

Dare said that a report in The Los Angeles Times yesterday that 576 fewer grants than the 4,328 originally planned are to be made is incorrect. "Our approach will be to reduce the size but not the number of grants," he said.

McAusland, though, said that he expected "at least 70 and as many as 100" cuts in music programs, "at least 20 grants" in the literature programs, and "perhaps 30 grants" in dance programs.

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