Fearing budget cuts, Britain's culture secretary made an unusual case: That art begets economic growth.
An unexpected upshot in the wake of Britain's latest spending review was the fate of the culture budget -- it avoided a pummeling. What might be considered an easy target in a time of austerity emerged relatively unscathed, with only a 5 percent decrease in funding from £472 million to £451 million.
The arts world had already been hit by a 30 percent cut meted out in the 2010 budget and had been waiting to find out whether they might be granted a reprieve at this latest round of belt-tightening.
This time, advocates for arts funding breathed a collective sigh of relief, with the budget reduction described as a "best-case scenario" -- they had been bracing for much larger cuts.
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