Hundreds of Georgia artists march on state Capitol

ATLANTA -- Hundreds of artists converged on the Georgia Capitol calling on state officials to restore funding for the arts.

Protesters on Monday said that arts funding is vital to the state's economy.

The House last week approved a state budget plan that eliminated the Georgia Council for the Arts. The state Senate is set to take up the spending plan this week.

Georgia would be the only state in the nation without a state arts agency recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts if the council is eliminated. The council is a clearinghouse for federal NEA funds.

State legislators are struggling to fill a $785 million hole in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.