'It's a smart investment': Residents call for increased funding for Metro Arts Commission

Posted at 9:53 PM, Feb 21, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — From affordable housing to transportation, people from across Nashville weighed in on what they would like to see funded in the upcoming Metro operating budget.

A public comment period was held at Tuesday's Metro Council meeting. Even though the next operating budget hasn't been drafted yet, residents still had the opportunity to weigh in on what they would like to see included. The Metro Council offered a similar opportunity last year.

A total of 20 people addressed the council, and calls ranged from 5% cost of living raises for Metro employees to $8.2 million more for Metro Schools, Nashville General Hospital and We Go Public Transit. However, the majority of the people who addressed the council called for an additional $30 million dollars for the Metro Arts Commission.

Supporters' aid funding for the Arts Commission has been flat since 2000, and the city needs to support artists.

"As our city seeks to find a healthy balance to support our own residents, and while continuing to attract tourists, increasing the investment in the arts is a key strategy to avoid this sense of division," said one resident.

"Investing in the arts is always good business, but especially in Nashville where we need to live up to our name," added another resident.

Metro Council members must approve a budget by July 1. There will be another opportunity for people to share their thoughts in June before the final vote.

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