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Poloncarz and the Arts

Thanks to Artvoice for your continuing coverage of Erie County government, including your reporting on County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s inauguration (“Week in Review,” Artvoice v11n1).

Contrary to the story, however, Mr. Poloncarz did in fact mention the cultural community in his address, and more than once. He specifically talked about the importance of the small and midsize culturals to the community in tough times.

More important than his words are his actions. The new county executive included the restoration of over $900,000 in cultural funding in his requests for amendments to the 2012 county budget and with the action of the County Legislature those funds were approved. Mr. Poloncarz named several representatives from the cultural sector to his transition team and its committees, he appointed a champion of our community in Maria Whyte to head the department that works with us, and his administration is already working with us to renew and improve the process for cultural funding and policy in Erie County.

What a change—and only a week into the new administration.

> Tod A. Kniazuk, Executive Director, Arts Services Initiative of WNY

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