Forget the fruitcake. Give someone an evening of entertainment for the holidays instead. Patricia Ohlerking, planning director for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, says people should consider buying friends and family an alternative gift — one that gives back to the arts.The state agency has launched a campaign called “Give a Ticket, Give a Lot.” Due to the sluggish economy, Ohlerking says many venues are experiencing budget strain that could result in shortened seasons, delayed exhibit openings or reduced stage productions. Cultural Affairs did a survey this month which found 70-percent of Iowa’s cultural organizations are experiencing economic trouble. Ohlerking says by buying a ticket, you help out the organization from which you bought the ticket, in addition to giving a nice gift.Ohlerking suggests giving someone tickets to any of the following: concerts, plays, art exhibits, science centers and museums.
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