Museum director seeks contribution

January 27, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The director of the Baltimore Museum of Art asked the commissioners yesterday for "some county support for museum activities."

A random survey of museum patrons in 1992 indicated 8,500 Carroll residents attended events at the north Baltimore museum. That doesn't include students and teachers on field trips or Commissioners Elmer C. Lippy and Donald I. Dell, who also visited last year.

"Man does not live by bread alone," Mr. Lippy said. "Without culture, we die."

Culture carries a price, Arnold Lehman, museum director, said.

The $5 admission "doesn't come anywhere near the cost" of running the museum. Actual cost of a each visit is about $28, he said. He is asking patrons across the state for help.

"We are trying to make our case that the museum is an appropriate inclusion in the Carroll County budget," said Mr. Lehman. "We ask you to support it in a way you support other arts institutions which happen to be in Baltimore City."

William B. Dulany, a Westminster attorney, said residents should view the museum as a community facility "which we are obligated to help."

Mr. Lippy said last year's $15,000 arts budget included a "parsimonious" $2,500 contribution to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and $1,000 to Center Stage. To date, the county has made no contribution to the museum.

Hilary Pierce, executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council, asked the commissioners to consider assisting the visual arts this year.

"If the commissioners can't support all the arts, they should vary support for different art venues," she said. "That would show the county has a broad approach."

Although any contribution would shrink the council's budget, Ms. Pierce said she supports funds for the BMA.

"The museum is reaching out to the constituency built through the Arts Council here," she said. "It offers amazing diversity and a wide range of cultural activity. We are working on programs here to show its diversity."

Mr. Lehman said he hoped he could "count on Carroll County to be part of" the museum's programs. Mr. Lippy said he is especially aware of the museum's cultural experience, which is unavailable locally.

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