Friday, June 12, 2009

The State of the Visual Arts in Osceola

I would like to take a moment to share some incite on the latest state of arts with the Osceola Center for the Arts. The Center is currently facing our largest cut in funding in over 4 years. It appears that we may be losing both our County funding and Tourist Development Advertising dollars. With out the County funding the Visual Arts Dept. will be cut severely and may stand to lose it's Art in Public Places program completely and be forced to change my current part time contracted salary to a month to month commission on each art show. The Osceola Art Festival would have to reduce its advertising from $50K to $10K and we have already budgeted to cut prize money and other amenities which may also include cutting more salary for planning and directing the show. In order for the Festival to hold it's weight we will need to increase sponsorships significantly.

I am asking that if anyone has any ideas on how to keep the programs running or other funding options please let me know. The CAA has been operating as a membership based on participation in Art in Public Places and the email news letter, but we may need to look at banding together with more volunteer efforts and monthly meetings to keep it going.

When Phyllis Ross asked if I would like to step into her position with the Center 3 years ago, I wasn't sure if I was the right fit for the job, but now, I can't imagine giving it up. I care deeply for and am so proud of the reputation that we have built in Osceola County over the past few years! I am hopeful that some how we can maintain the momentum that we've gained and keep it moving in a positive direction for us all!

Thank you for taking the time to let me bend your ears,
Jules Davidson
Director of Visual Arts
Osceola Center for the Arts

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