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Arts organizations may see cuts

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Two area arts organizations may see their funding from Pulaski County reduced under a proposal by Massie District Supervisor Andy McCready.

During a budget work session earlier this week, McCready asked county staff to look at reducing by 10 percent the county’s contributions to the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley (FAC) and Friends of Southwest Virginia and the ‘Round the Mountain artisan network.

The county’s proposed 2013-14 fiscal year budget includes $22,000 for FAC and $10,000 for the artisan network.

In addition to proposing contributions to each organization be cut by 10 percent, McCready also initially proposed cutting the $5,000 Friends of Pulaski Theatre receives by 10 percent.

“I see the theatre is up and running now. I see previously we gave them $2,500. I understand we give them a state match grant of $2,500 and we need to match as least that amount,” McCready said.

County Administrator Pete Huber indiated that’s correct, adding, “If you reduce the $2,500 it will be a double impact.”

“So, right now, of the $5,000 that’s shown in our budget, $2,500 of that is state dollars,” McCready said. “So if we cut that any, they’ll lose state dollars, dollar for dollar.”

“That’s correct,” Huber responded.

“So then we don’t really need to … ,” McCready said, trailing off before completing his sentence. He appeared inclined to leave the theatre’s funding intact, but didn’t clearly state either way.

Huber pointed out that the county receives a $5,000 grant from the state and splits it between the theatre and FAC.

Still, McCready said he would like staff to “take a look at maybe cutting 10 percent there.”

Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey asked whether McCready was referring the Fine Arts Center.

McCready said he was,

“And the reason for that is based on what?” Sheffey asked.

“The budget,” McCready responded.

Sheffey asked if the center provides the county with documentation of the services it provides.

Assistant County Administrator Robert Hiss said the center just completed an application for a grant, which includes a narrative explaining the center’s programs.

“They made a fairly detailed presentation down her last year; talking about their new building,” McCready said, referring to the former Rutherford Pontiac building that was donated to the FAC and will be its future home.

“We want to continue to encourage them so they are able to get their new building, but at the same time, we’ve got to be cognizant of our budget situation,” McCready added.

Huber noted, “They do a lot of things in the community and schools … with arts education and arts competitions.”

Nonetheless, McCready asked the staff to “take a look at a 10 percent reduction” for the FAC and the Southwest Virginia artisan network, which operates out of Heartwood in Abingdon and promotes artists and craftsmen throughout Southwest Virginia.

 

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