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Art museum mobilizes public to speak out against state cuts

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By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-907184.mp3

Lewiston, NY – A local art museum could lose thousands of dollars in state funding. Kate Koperski is director of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University. The museum is calling on the public to demand Albany to stop extensive cuts to the New York State Arts Council.

The Museum Association of New York is spearheading an action alert. The public is urged to call state lawmakers to ask them to vote against the arts funding cuts. If budget cuts are approved, it could force arts organizations to cut jobs and programs. Koperski says Catsellani would stand to lose about $28,000.

"That's a big cut," Koperski said. "There are going to be some organizations in the state that won't survive."

The funding cuts would jeopardize the museum's education, contemporary and folk art programs and even its free admission policy.

Castellani receives funding support from Niagara University, but it also raises separate funds to help pay for its programs and staffers.