The Alliance Party’s Communities Spokesperson, Mrs Long hit out at the move after the significant cut was revealed, placing services and potentially jobs in jeopardy.
Naomi Long MLA said: “The Arts play a major part in uniting our society, achieving great success despite the already limited funds invested locally compared to other parts of the UK.
“Aside from their intrinsic value – enriching life and sparking creativity – the arts are a huge contributor to our economy: creating jobs, developing skills, attracting tourism, assisting regeneration and community development and much, much more.
“In addition to making Nothern Ireland a more vibrant place in which to live, work, socialise, invest and holiday, the arts sector is also one of the most integrated – bringing people together from all walks of life and all backgrounds in shared experience.
“And yet despite all this, as one of his early actions in post the Minister has moved to cut its budget significantly – a decision that leaves me neither disappointed or surprised from a Minister who is much better suited to the rhetoric of a shared future, than to its delivery.”