Arts facility bustling in Westminster location New center opened officially Oct. 4


October 16, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Arts Council's new center is surging with activity, "becoming the hub for the community," said Hilary Pierce, executive director of the Westminster facility.

"The new center really works," said Ann VonGunten, president of the Carroll County Crafts Guild, which sponsors an annual Studio Tour.

"It had a great flow of people during the tour, when several of our members displayed here."

To help members keep up their good works, Ms. Pierce handed out state grant checks at a meeting with member groups Wednesday.

Nine county groups received checks for 50 percent of their grant applications, which ranged from $150 to $1,000. Ms. Pierce said she hoped the balance would be forthcoming.

"Although the state's financial support has been on shaky ground, I think the governor believes in the arts as an industry," said Ms. Pierce. "For every dollar the state spends on arts, $14 in revenue is generated."

The council awards grants through its Maryland State Arts Council to organizations that submit applications for financial assistance for arts-related events and programs.

The grant "acknowledges our purpose," said Diane Jones, who represents the Children's Chorus of Carroll County.

"We want to be more than a check," said Ms. Pierce. "We can provide a place for accessible meetings and an environment for discussion.

"I hope to find more ways to bring arts leaders together and bring artistic awareness up."

The center and all events are fully handicap-accessible, said Ms. Pierce.

"The Carroll County Arts Council has been put on the map as a result of our stance on compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act," she said.

The center, on the ground level of the Winchester Exchange at 15 E. Main St., can seat about 60 people and can assist members with bulk mailing and marketing.

"People come to Carroll County because it's beautiful and they might stay for a concert," she said. "Think about promoting your programs far and wide. There is not one reason why we can't draw people from Baltimore and D.C."

Ms. Pierce stressed the need for each group to raise money.

"Do the best you can with your constituency," she said.

"If you are fund-raising, take an active tack."

Members asked the council at the meeting to help them coordinate their calendars.

More than 300 people attended the council's official opening Oct. 4. Other events, including three shows by county artists, have been equally successful.

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