Art Looks To Private Sector

October 06, 1991|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff writer

Volunteers and money from prominent citizens will be the salvation of Carroll's artistic community, said county artists facing a $3,735 cut in state grant money.

"Voluntary funding rather than looking tostate or local funding will probably be the future of cultural activity for the next few years," said Ira Domser, director of Western Maryland College's Theatre on the Hill. "Cuts in funding are devastatingand making Carroll a less interesting place to live."

The county loss, part of $513,000 statewide, is 10 percent of themoney the Maryland Arts Council was slated to give Carroll recipients during the 1992 budget year, which began July 1.

Another $315,757 statewide is being saved by canceling the arts advancement program,which helps small and medium-size organizations become more fiscallysound, and by eliminating the post of state council deputy director.

Anticipating a budget crisis, members of Maryland's Arts Council Board simply withheld the money when they sent out the grants earlierthis year.

"We don't have to go to the organizations and recall the money,"

said King. "In our heart of hearts, we expected this, and the Arts Council Board was far-sighted enough to hold some of the money back."

The Carroll County Arts Council will receive $30,463 instead of $33,848, Theatre on the Hill will get $1,350 rather than $1,500, and the Mid-Atlantic Theatre Movement Festival, run by David Geyer of Westminster, will receive $1,800 instead of $2,000.

Most program directors said they wouldn't be affected drastically because they don't receive that much money from the state. Creativity in marketing and budgeting is necessary in tough financial times, they said.

"I hope to do fund raising on a private and a corporate level," said Hilary Pierce, director of Carroll's Arts Council. "We have a goodrelationship with the community and a wonderful volunteer base."

Yet Domser said Theatre on the Hill still may be in jeopardy.

"Ourmajor grant from the college may be in trouble next year because thecollege is going to receive less money from the state," he said. "While nothing has been said, it's a possibility it will be on the chopping block for a while, and then they won't decide until January."

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