Reed Reverses Arts Cuts
(AJC) — Mayor Kasim Reed has reversed his decision to cut the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs grants program by half, telling arts leaders Thursday that he’s restoring its full budget to $470,000. Reed acknowledged that the arts trim, as part of an attempt to close an overall shortfall of $17 million in the city’s 2012 budget, “didn’t sit right” with him. It didn’t sit right either with arts leaders and artists, more than 200 who held a rally at City Hall and spoke at a City Council budget hearing last week. “I’ve been thinking about it and then I realized, I was the mayor,” Reed said with a smile. “We’re going to restore every single penny.” A full Marriott Marquis ballroom of metro Atlanta arts and corporate leaders attending the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund luncheon gave Reed a standing ovation.