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|From the director
Planning update and changes to Cultural Facilities Grant Program
Between March and July, 22 public input meetings for the West Virginia state arts planning process were held across the state. Average attendance was 12. Artists, arts administrators, teachers, parents, college and university professors and administrators, arts marketing and sales professionals, community arts advocates and public media reporters attended the sessions.
A generous number of newsprint pages from each meeting provided notes for study by the Arts staff and the core planning group. Several major themes were identified:
• Image of the arts in West Virginia
The core planning group and Arts staff made recommendations to the West Virginia Commission on the Arts for goals and objectives to be included in the WV State Arts Plan. The Commission and the Arts staff will structure the plan to identify the goals and objectives that suggest policy examination and change, as well as schedule Arts staff tasks and projects that implement strategies to fulfill objectives.
West Virginia Senator Oshel B. Craigo (Putnam County, District Four), author of the original legislation that funded the Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources Grants, requested changes in the legislative rule that administers the program. Many of these changes were included in recommendations from WV Arts Advocacy, the group of arts organizations that had supported the original legislation.
The Secretary of State approved the emergency amendment to Legislative Rule Title 82 Series 7 in July. The changes provide an opportunity for history museums in West Virginia to apply to the program as a secondary priority under guidelines similar to those for arts organizations. In addition, the maximum amount that can be applied for has been increased to $500,000, with an expanded total of grants over three years at $750,000. The minimum that may be requested has been lowered to $2,500.
A new opportunity for Fast Track ADA and Emergency Grants has been introduced to permit faster response to improve compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and to correct damage to arts and history museum facilities caused by accidents and natural disasters. A special one-time opportunity for two arts organizations, Museum in the Community, (Putnam County) and Greenbrier Valley Theatre (Greenbrier County) to receive additional funds for debt retirement has been included in the changes.
All grants require a dollar-for-dollar cash match. The legislature will consider the changes to the regular rule in the 2003 session.
Richard H. Ressmeyer