Cultural Arts Foundation seeks bigger budget, profile 2 Fund-raisers aimed at getting more money to donate to groups

January 29, 1998|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel County is tired of being serious and supportive and subdued. It wants people to notice what it does -- and it wants to do more.

To that end, the private nonprofit agency that allots money to Arundel arts groups and projects is trying to raise its profile and its budget.

Two fund-raising events are planned for the first half of the year to bring the foundation money it can dole out to 40 arts groups in the county likely to seek support.

About 1,500 invitations have gone out for a Mardi Gras ball at Loew's Annapolis Hotel Feb. 28.

Sally Johnson, wife of Annapolis Mayor Dean Johnson, and Ruth Ann Gary, wife of County Executive John G. Gary, are honorary co-chairwomen. Jeff Holland, one of Them Eastport Oyster Boys, and his wife, Louise White, a staff member at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, will be king and queen of the carnival event.

A golf tournament in Lothian is planned for May 18.

William J. Kuethe, a State Farm insurance agent from Annapolis who sits on the foundation's 35-member board of trustees, said, "We'll be pleased if we raise $5,000 from the ball." He estimates the ball's expenses at $3,000.

That amount might seem modest, as befits a low-profile organization. But its average grant for the current fiscal year is $8,500. Many groups receive far smaller amounts, down to $500.

The foundation began in 1979 as a county arts commission but was made private in 1993 as a way to save tax money.

Executive Director Carol Treiber, who joined the commission in 1982, is the only paid staffer. Four other employees left when the agency lost its county affiliation.

The foundation's operating budget for fiscal 1997-1998 is $450,000, of which the foundation gave $324,700 in direct grants for general operating support.

An additional $40,000 went to arts residencies in county schools. The foundation also gives money to other groups that offer cultural programming, such as Anne Arundel Community College and Historic Annapolis Foundation.

The foundation receives $300,000 from the county, $58,000 from the Maryland State Arts Council, which is a funnel for state and federal dollars; and $30,000 from the city of Annapolis, which requires that its money return to Annapolis arts organizations.

Its smallest area of support is private donors, who supply about 5 percent of its budget. According to its annual report, the largest of these is Northrop Grumman, which last year gave $5,000 to support arts-in-schools projects.

Kuethe said much more will have to come from private fund raising among businesses and individuals if the foundation is to have a higher profile.

For information on the Cultural Arts Foundation, call 410-222-7949.

Pub Date: 1/29/98

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