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Protesting Collins’ Cuts to Culturals

Filed under: Activism, Art, Erie County

If I’ve learned anything in this job, it’s this: You don’t want theater people angry at you.

Inasmuch as he’s able to absorb the lesson, Erie County Executive Chris Collins is about to learn the same thing. At 4pm today, a mob of actors, musicians, set and costume designers, light and sound technicians, arts administrators, and the audiences who support their work will gather on the steps of County Hall (95 Franklin Street) to protest Collins’ zeroing out funding for 33 cultural organizations, including all of the region’s theaters.

It should be quite a show.


  • Georgio Puglia

    Chris Collins has the Erie County Legislature in his back pocket right now through special interests and back-door dealings. Sadly, that’s how it all works. Hence, any budget he wants will be passed. It would be nice to see the cultural organizations unite for such a protest, but it is way too late for any changes to the budget. Honestly, any protest should have come from a united front weeks ago when Collins first announced the cuts and the community should have persisted in getting a meeting with the County Exec or a high level staff member. Standing out in the rain on the steps of County Hall, even with chanting and signs, is futile at this point. I support their position 100% on the cuts, but, having been involved in union contract negotiations most of my life, I have learned that when the economic stability of the company is in jeopardy, workers have to take what they can get. Maybe next year…….