Hagerstown council agrees to sponsor butterfly statue

July 09, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday agreed to spend $3,500 to sponsor the creation of one of 30 butterfly statues that eventually would be auctioned to benefit the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Pieter Bickford, a member of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, told the council that the aluminum statues would depict butterflies, in part, to represent metamorphosis. In addition to requesting the sponsorship, Bickford asked the council for permission to place the statues in and around downtown from April to June 2009.

"We want to put them in visible places and places where they won't be a hindrance," he said.

The foundation wants to find 30 sponsors who would give between $3,500 and $5,000 per statue, Bickford said. The money would be used to hire a sculptor to make the statues and artists to paint them.

After the statues sit on the streets and gain exposure for a few months, they would be auctioned to benefit programs at the school, Bickford said.


Construction of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts began last fall at 9-11 S. Potomac St. The school is expected to cost about $8.3 million and provide an education with an emphasis in the arts to about 300 students in grades nine through 12.

"I believe we'll have more auditions (for enrollment) than we have slots," Dale Bannon, director of system development for Washington County Public Schools, told the council.

The school should be finished in the spring of 2009, Bannon said. If things go as planned, classes would begin that August.

Cynthia Perini, president of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, said last week that proceeds from the auction would pay for programs at the school that otherwise wouldn't be covered in the budget.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said the council would have to vote later this month to officially allow the $3,500 sponsorship and to commit city resources, such as the public works department, to help place the 5-foot-by-5-foot statues on the streets.

"I think the project is great," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said. "I would be very supportive of it."

The city probably would pay for the sponsorship and other costs associated with the statues using money from the General Fund contingency, said Larry Bayer, the city's community development manager.

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