OHIO ARTS Council suffers cut in funding; not all organizations affected

The council increased awards to three local organizations.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Ohio Arts Council took a cut in the amount of funding appropriated for fiscal year 2002, but not all arts organizations will take a hit.
Although the OAC budget of $31,277,247 that Gov. Bob Taft approved for fiscal 2002 and 2003 is a 4.45 percent decrease from the original appropriation of $32,736,291, at least three local arts organizations -- Youngstown's Junior Military Band, Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana and the Youngstown Symphony Society -- were awarded more than what they received for fiscal year 2001.
"The grant we received is two-and-a-half times larger than it was last year," reported Judy Cartwright, executive director of the Junior Military Band. "Still, it's only about half of what we requested." The Junior Military Band was awarded $11,720 to support operating expenses.
Expenses: Cartwright said the grant is important but it covers only a fraction of the organization's operating expenses.
"Our biggest expense is for teachers. We employ about 12 teachers -- part time, of course -- a janitor and an executive director, so our payroll is about $40,000," she explained. Insurance is an additional $5,000, utilities run about $18,000 and then, she said, there are costs for uniforms, building rental, and truck and trailer maintenance.
The reason the Junior Military Band received so much more from the Ohio Arts Council for next year, she added, is not because programming or expenses have changed but because the organization is getting better at grant writing.
Festival: OCCHA was awarded almost $1,300 more for fiscal 2002 than it received this year -- $6,069 compared with $4,770. The funding will go toward putting on a Hispanic heritage festival.
Without the grant, said Mary Isa Garayua executive director, the festival probably would not go on. The grant she explained, will provide half of the festival budget. In the grant application, the Hispanic social services organization, located on the city's East Side, requested $14,000 in funding.
A date for the Hispanic heritage festival is yet to be set. The last time the organization put on a festival, Garayua said, was about six years ago.
More funding: The Youngstown Symphony Society received about $1,000 more from the arts council, said Pat Syak, executive director.
"This is not only important from an operational standpoint," Syak said, "but also because of the vigorous procedure the symphony society most go through to be eligible for a grant. Receiving this proves we've passed the test in terms of programming and outreach activities."
The $69,830 grant the symphony was awarded for fiscal 2002 will go toward the $1.7 million budgeted for educational programs and concerts.
Other grants: Other area organizations receiving grants for fiscal 2002 are the Butler Institute of American Art, Oakland Center for the Arts, Youngstown Area Arts Council, Red Hawk American Indian Cultural Society, First Night Canfield, Youngstown State University's Summer Festival of the Arts, McDonough Museum, and New Music Festival, all in Mahoning County; Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County and its Opening Night, Trumbull Art Gallery and Warren Civic Music Association in Trumbull County; and the Shining Reflections Vocational Program in Columbiana County.
Statewide, 473 grants totaling $10,405,101 were awarded. The OAC reviewed 536 grant requests totaling $15,385,733.

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