Art funding changes, creative district plan approved

Lawmakers gave final approval July 31 to a bill that makes a technical change to the budgeting process of the Nebraska Arts Council and authorizes creative districts.

LB780, introduced by Gering Sen. John Stinner, changes the level of administrative funding available from the Nebraska Arts and Humanities Cash Fund beginning in fiscal year 2021. Current state law caps that amount at $30,000.

Sen. John Stinner
Sen. John Stinner

The bill includes provisions of Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt’s LB943, which require the Nebraska Arts Council to devise a plan for creative districts throughout the state.

The newly formed districts will be certified by the council and distinguished by geography, artistic or cultural activities or facilities, promotion and preservation of artistic or cultural sites, educational uses of artistic or cultural activities or sites and unique or niche areas, activities, events, facilities or sites.

The bill also allows the council to create a competitive grant program available to a certified cultural district through the Nebraska Arts and Humanities Cash Fund.

LB780 passed on a 47-0 vote.

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