RI leaders rally for creative, cultural funding

A rally at Trinity Rep earlier this month rallied support for Question 5 on the ballot.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In next month’s general election, Rhode Island voters will be asked to authorize $35 million in matching funds for renovation projects at arts facilities in the state.

Local lawmakers and nonprofit leaders held a rally at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence Friday in support of Ballot Question #5.

Supporters said the money will benefit local theater, music, and arts programs.

“We’re investing in something we’re good at in Rhode Island, and that’s our cultural history,” said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. “We’re putting the resources in making sure that stays vibrant, and I urge voters to say yes on five.”

Officials said the money would also create construction jobs and generate new tax revenue for the state.

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, who opposes the ballot question, said in response that the state suffers from too much debt to consider authorizing the funding.

“Despite its alluring name, this Creative & Cultural Economy Bond would give preferential treatment to organizations in the arts industry by handing to them hard-earned taxpayer dollars, while other industries are left to survive on their own during these difficult economic times.”

The general election is Nov. 4.

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