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Arts school to ask Hagerstown to place butterfly statues

July 07, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation is expected to ask the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday for permission to place 30 butterfly statues in and around the downtown area next spring as part of a fundraiser for the school.

If the council agrees, the foundation will begin soliciting sponsors at $3,000 to $5,000 per statue, said Dale Bannon, director of system development for Washington County Public Schools. The money will be used primarily to hire a sculptor to create the butterflies and artists to paint them.

Bannon said the foundation would like to start placing the sculptures at sites in and around downtown in April. By the end of June, the statues would be auctioned to the highest bidder, he said.

The foundation hopes to raise $25,000 to $50,000 to help pay for programs at the school, Bannon said.

"We believe this is an excellent project and we look forward to discussing this with the mayor and council," he said. "Before we even move forward with this project, we need their support."

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Bannon said the butterfly was chosen because it typifies a transformation of downtown Hagerstown and the birth of the school for the arts.

Construction of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts began last fall at 9-11 S. Potomac St., The Herald-Mail has reported. The school is expected to cost about $8.3 million.

Cynthia Perini, president of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, said construction should wrap up in the spring of 2009, and classes should begin that fall. The school will accept up to 300 children in grades nine through 12 who want to pursue an education with an emphasis in the instrumental, performing, visual or vocal arts, she said.

In addition to the butterfly project, the foundation intends to hold other fundraisers to benefit the school, Perini said. But the main goal "is to enhance the awareness of arts in the community."

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