Arts Council allocations hold funding level

Move into Centennial Station changes two groups' circumstances
Sep. 13, 2013 @ 09:48 AM

The High Point Area Arts Council held steady with past years for allocations to its affiliate organizations, even though housing for two groups changed.
The Arts Council allocated $82,000 — the same as last year — to its five affiliates: $5,400 to Carousel Theatre, $35,000 to High Point Ballet, $9,000 to High Point Community Concerts, $30,000 to High Point Community Theatre, $2,600 to Piedmont Artists.
Money comes from the annual fund drive, which is ongoing and has netted $168,000 so far this year, compared to $160,000 last year. Fund drive income also goes to the Arts Council for operating expenses.
Three of the affiliate groups — Carousel Theatre, Community Concerts, Piedmont Artists — are small and require only meeting space.
Ballet and Community Theatre, however, require large rehearsal and studio spaces, and each rented facilities before moving into Centennial Station following its purchase by the Arts Council at the end of 2012. Both now receive free rent at Centennial Station.
Each group this year received, more-or-less, the same allocation as last year. Ballet received $3,800 more than last year, and Community Theatre received $4,200 less.
Allocations to the two groups were not cut this year to compensate for the free rent partially to bring them in line with a funding tier formula instituted in 2006 and based on income, said Debbie Lumpkins, executive director. 
“We’re very conscious of their mission, and what they’re trying to accomplish, but they have very severe funding challenges, so what we’re trying to do is to have the best quality arts programs we possibly can in High Point,” said Joe Gray, chairman of the allocations committee.
In addition, Gray said, Ballet bore significant upfitting costs when it moved into Centennial Station.
“We’re trying to ease their burden for this one year. We will revisit it next year. They’re having a lot of first-year expenses, so we’re trying to get them in and get their programs back in,” Gray said.
“Community Theatre is constantly challenged by getting enough of the audience to pay expenses of their productions, and they have an extensive education program, and kids get scholarships, and they have classes for adults and children. And we like what they’re doing so we want them to be able to sustain as best they can.” / 888-3601