A successful grassroots campaign will prevent the closure of the historic Inbal Cultural Center in Tel Aviv. Due to funding criteria established by the Ministry of Culture, the Center, which is devoted to Mizrachi dance and performance art, was under threat of having its budget removed.
The Coalition for the Equal Distribution of Cultural Funds in Israel (‘Heart in the East’ coalition) organized a petition and letter-writing campaign which was publicized on NIF social networks, and led to the Ministry of Culture reversing their decision. Discrimination in cultural funding in Israel is a major issue; for example, only five percent of the NIS55,900,000 culture budget goes to Mizrachi music.
The Inbal Center is a unique Israeli cultural institution which stages thousands of performances a year. “Cultural institutions that depend on government funding can’t suddenly be left without a budget,” said Ofer Amsalam, the director of the Ashkelon Andalusian Orchestra, one of the members of the Heart in the East’ Coalition. “The Ministry of Welfare is now working out new criteria for funding, and the Coalition is also involved in dialogue and cooperation on this issue.”