For seventy-five years Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge, has been home to two of the country's most storied literary institutions, LSU Press and the Southern Review. But prestige was not enough to save either one from a 20 percent cut in university subsidy in July.
From the Magazine
Philadelphia’s fifty-four public libraries—along with its court system, rec centers, and thousands of public employees—were granted a reprieve last Thursday afternoon when the State Senate approved a $700 million relief package for the city. The funding forestalls mayor Michael Nutter’s “Plan C” budget, which, among other cuts, had called for the indefinite suspension of all library services on October 2.
In two weeks, the city that once enjoyed the largest book circulation in the world could find itself entirely without public libraries. The Free Library of Philadelphia announced earlier this month that unless the State Legislature approves the city’s budgetary requests, all branch, regional, and central libraries will close their doors and suspend programming effective Friday, October 2.
The 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival will be held after all. Seven months after Dodge Foundation CEO David Grant announced the suspension of the popular biennial event, citing shrinking assets and increasing venue costs, the New York Times reports that the organization is on track to secure a new hosting partner by September.
Despite a circulation boom, public libraries in Ohio are scrambling to close branches, reduce hours, and lay off staff—all in an attempt to cope with an unprecedented drop in state funding. According to the Ohio Library Council, reductions approved last month to the Public Library Fund, along with declining tax revenues, are expected to shrink library budgets by as much as 30 percent.
Theatre producer and former professor Rocco Landesman was confirmed by the Senate on Friday as the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Also confirmed by the Senate last week was former congressman Jim Leach, tapped to head up the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both men are expected to be sworn in within a few days.
Author Thomas Nesbit announced this week that he will donate half the earnings from his e-book Deep Fried to the nonprofit 826 National, which runs literacy centers for school-aged children in seven American cities. This is the first such pledge to the organization by a debut novelist.
With support for small publishers continuing to dwindle amid the uncertain economic climate, Archipelago Books has put out a call for donations to help it stay afloat. The award-winning New York City-based press, which specializes in literary translations, says shrinking finances have forced it to lay off staff and delay the release of upcoming titles.
For many writers groups and nonprofit literary organizations battered by the recession, help is on the way. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by president Barack Obama in February, included fifty million dollars in arts funding that is being allocated by the National Endowment for the Arts.
David Grant, president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, announced this week that he will step down by June 2010. Grant has helmed the New Jersey-based philanthropic organization—best known as the sponsor of the Dodge Poetry Festival—since 1998.