Minnesota Arts Board Ordered to Change Spending Habits

Updated: 06/07/2013 7:36 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first told you about tax money used to send artists overseas three months ago. 

Minnesota lawmakers saw our story and have now ordered the Minnesota Arts Board to change its spending habits.

Lawmakers do not want Legacy tax dollars used to send the artists on out-of-state travel for art projects.

Our 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation found the state spent about 15 percent of the Arts Board's $5.6-million arts initiative program on trips to exotic places for artists to do their work. Some of that money came from the Legacy Fund.

State Senator Michelle Benson, (R) Ham Lake tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the Legislature "has made it clear to the Arts Board that the Legacy money should not be spent on overseas trips for artists and it should be spent here in Minnesota."

Senator Benson says she, and her colleagues, will watch the spending by the Arts Board to make sure they follow the Legislature's directive. If they don't, Sen. Benson says the "Legislature will follow up and take stronger action next year."

Click here to view a document that outlines the travel that was paid for with artist initiative grants.

Click here for watchdog.org.