Representative Carson’s cultural economy issue is included in the budget bill passed by the House of Representatives

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The 2025 state budget bill approved by the House of Representatives on Friday includes a proposal from Rep. Lauren H. Carson to seek voter approval in November for a “cultural economy” bond.

The $10 million bond will provide funds for infrastructure to promote arts and culture in Rhode Island, including $2 million to support Newport Contemporary Ballet’s efforts to build Newport’s Center for Arts, Dance & Education.

“The cultural economy is an important part of our economic landscape, providing employment to Rhode Islanders, making our state attractive to visitors and contributing immeasurably to our quality of life. Rhode Island’s arts and culture are an important part of who we are, and what makes our state a unique, interesting and valuable place,” said Rep. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport). “Many of our cultural institutions have suffered permanently from the pandemic shutdown, and few have received the financial support that has helped other sectors to recover. This bond, if approved by voters, would help our arts and cultural institutions with a number of major infrastructure projects that will ensure they can thrive well into the future.”

If voters approve the question, the bond, in addition to the $2 million for Newport Contemporary Ballet, would provide $2 million for Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, and $2 million to build a new facility for the Tomaquag Museum on the Kingston campus of the University of Rhode Island. and another $4 million that would go to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to distribute to arts organizations for infrastructure projects.

Representative Carson introduced the proposed bond issue in February as separate legislation (2024-H 7770), which the House Finance Committee included in the budget bill (2024-H 7225Aaa). The budget bill was approved by the House of Representatives today and will now go to the Senate.