Sundance Subsidy Stirs Conservative Pushback

By Terry Gildea, NPR

A disagreement between supporters of the Sundance Film Festival and a conservative think tank in Utah is raising questions about whether tax dollars should support the arts. The Sutherland Institute says some films screened at Sundance do not reflect Utah values.

The controversy began with a blog post on the Sutherland Institute’s website. Writer Derek Monson called on Utah to end its sponsorship of Sundance because some of the movies shown there portrayed sexual promiscuity.

Paul Mero, president of the Salt Lake City-based Sutherland Institute, says the state should spend money on other priorities rather than subsidizing the financially successful film festival, founded by actor Robert Redford.

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