SAN DIEGO — In record time--and with abundant good cheer--the California Arts Council wrapped up its regular public meetings for the year here, giving swift and unanimous approval to a draft application to the National Endowment for the Arts for next year's basic state operating grant.
Although council members didn't see the 126-page draft until the middle of last week and though the document is much longer than the applications usually submitted by most other states, the council went along with vice chairman Harvey Stearn, who described the application as being "the most informative" that could have been written under the circumstances. "It's very, very good reading," Stearn, chairman of the council's planning subcommittee, told his colleagues.
Last February when the national endowment took the rare step of deferring the state's basic operating grant for this year because, among other criticisms, the application "lacked vision and a clear sense of direction," the council was caught in the predicament of having to rewrite this year's application at the same time it was beginning to draft the new one.
Therefore, Stearn said, the application is a one-year explanation of programs rather than the more usual three-year plan. The new application is due in Washington Nov. 1. The council received approval for this year's basic state grant in August.