Rapid City arts funding debate may be coming to a close

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The ongoing debate about funding for the arts in Rapid City is almost coming to a close.

Every year, the city allocates money to the arts out of the general fund otherwise known as the arts contingency fund.

Normally the city would award a little more than $100,000 for local art programs and apart of that use to be for Allied Arts, a non-profit organization.

However for 2020, Mayor Allender is stripping the funds for the non-profit and giving it to the Rapid City Arts Council.

Allender said for the last four years the margin between the revenue and expenditures is thinning and that the $100,000 had to be cut down to about $75,000. He said, "we are approaching the paper thin level right now."

He says though some people are questioning the city's loyalty to the arts, he said he has to make a decision.

"I'm sorry that people may be disappointed but someone in a leadership position cannot try to please everyone. It's no different in reality than being a parent. It requires decision making and doing what's in the best interest of all," Allender said.

The city council will discuss the year-long contract with the Rapid City Arts Council on December 16.