Arts take the stage before lawmakers

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Tim Geithner's appearance on Capitol Hill may make for a bit of a show, but when it comes to the attention the arts are getting right now . . . needless to say, with more people staying home on the weekends, galleries, shows, and concerts aren't welcoming as many visitors. The arts community will also take the stage before lawmakers today. Here's Danielle Karson with that.


Danielle Karson: People always seem willing to spend money to forget their troubles, but arts donations are drying up, and thousands of groups are facing bankruptcy.

John Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts, says lawmakers need to understand the loss:

John Lynch: I want them to know this treasure -- that helps kids, helps communities, helps the nation -- is at risk.

Lynch says the arts industry employs 6 million people and generates $166 billion a year in jobs, ticket sales and tax revenue.

Lynch says he's grateful that the National Endowment for the Arts is getting $50 million from the stimulus bill. But it's just a start:

Lynch: Fifty million [dollars] is a tiny piece. They are in big trouble right now and need the help and the attention of the United States government just like every other industry.

Lynch is pushing for a billion dollars to help fire up the arts.

In Washington, I'm Danielle Karson for Marketplace.

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