Addition to form allows taxpayers to help fund, save the arts locally

The local organization ArtServe wants you to check out the sixth box down on your Michigan tax forms. It’ll help support the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs $5, $10, or how ever many dollars you want to pledge at a time.

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Times are hard in Michigan. But for the Michigan arts industry, times are even harder.

That’s why local organization ArtServe, which advocates statewide for arts in culture and arts in education, is raising awareness about the sixth box down on this year’s Michigan tax Form 4642, the Michigan Voluntary Contributions Schedule.

In the time it takes to put pen to paper and check off a box, you could help an industry that directly supports 75,000 Michigan jobs and brings in $1.8 billion annually in tourism spending, yet in the past year has seen a 72 percent decrease in funds.

Mike Latvis, ArtServe’s director of public policy, says the budget has fallen from $7.9 million in fiscal year 2009 to $1.2 million in fiscal year 2010.

Checking off the box allows taxpayers to donate $5, $10 or another monetary amount to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, “who award grants to over 1,000 different arts and culture organizations across the state,” says Latvis.

Read the entire article here.