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Franklin County, Pa., arts groups applaud state support

July 24, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Three Franklin County, Pa., arts groups will share more than $17,500 from the state to support their community initiatives.

The top recipient is the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts, which will receive $11,518 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

"This is the money we need to cover overhead and administrative costs," said Anne Finucane, of the Chambersburg arts council. "We get a lot of support from the business community for programs, but when it comes to less exciting things like overhead, we rely on grants."

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Because the group does not charge membership fees, it relies on grants, corporate support and fund-raising to operate its gallery and exhibit area at 75 S. Main St.

The Chambersburg Council for the Arts has received state assistance since it opened in the late 1980s, and funding has gradually increased until this year.

Finucane said the grant is down from what the arts council normally receives due to the tight state budget.

The council received more than $14,000 last year.

The Caledonia Theatre Company will receive $4,000 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the same as last year, and the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus will receive $2,013, down $500 from last year.

All told, Franklin County arts groups will receive $17,531 in grants this year, according to state Rep. Jeff Coy, D-Shippensburg, who announced the grants Tuesday. He said he hopes the grants will help the organizations continue to provide arts and cultural events at an affordable price or for free.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the governor's office, is dedicated to increasing the availability of arts and cultural events.

It will allocate $14 million in grants this year with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and a state appropriation, which is about a 10 percent decrease from last year.

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