Despite his conservative nature, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, believes the arts are important and said he'll continue to support federal funding for them.
Speaking to several hundred students last week in the Marriott Center for Dance at the University of Utah, he said the state has a long history of support for the arts.He said the Salt Lake Theater was built before the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Bennett said that despite the hostile environment for the Mormon Pioneers in 1847, they put on a simple play only two weeks after arriving in the S.L. Valley.
He supports funding for the National Endowment Association and does not believe the $100 million in arts money used there could be better spent in welfare programs.
Bennett believes the federal funds that are currently spent on the arts would simply get lost in welfare programs and make little difference to poverty levels.
Even though New York and California receive a disproportionate share of federal arts funding, he believes there is a benefit in Utah from their programs too.