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Arts Group Fires Staff In Reassessment

March 20, 1987

The Orange County Arts Alliance has dismissed its two paid staff members as part of what president Robert Garfias called a "new reassessment period" for the arts planning and service organization.

Garfias said Thursday that the dismissals of administrative director Michelle Weigand and her part-time assistant, Nena Gayton, are effective March 31. Volunteers will be handling these staff duties. There are no plans now to fill the two posts, which were the alliance's only paid jobs, said Garfias.

"There are (salary) savings involved. But the main reason is that we do not need these posts until our organization maps out its next steps in programming and outreach, as well as finding more funds," said Garfias, who is dean of UC Irvine's School of Fine Arts.

Weigand, who had held her $24,000-a-year staff post for the past year, was not available for comment.

Since 1974, the alliance, whose 400 members represent arts, corporate and educational organizations, has been primarily a support group for organizational forums, professional workshops and research.

But the alliance is now under pressure from the California Arts Council, the state's arts granting agency, to become more aggressive in programs for community arts, including ethnic-minority artists, and in raising monies from private and public sources.

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