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Old Globe, Symphony Among Grant Winners

September 02, 1987|HILLIARD HARPER | San Diego County Arts Writer

SAN DIEGO — The California Arts Council has awarded the Old Globe Theatre a $105,675 grant and the San Diego Symphony an unusually restrictive $50,000 grant for operations and a $20,000 touring subsidy.

The symphony, which earlier this year lost a $50,000 state grant after canceling its entire season, is one of 28 county arts groups that will receive $468,235 over the next 12 months from the council, which also awarded $129,100 in 16 grants-in-aid for artists in residence.

And for the third year in a row, the Gaslamp Quarter Theatre's California Young Playwright's Project was a winner. It got $11,400. A collaborative effort involving local school districts, the project was praised for its "amazing potential for traveling across the state" by the council's theater grants adminstrator Ray Tatar.

"It's a model program for schools . . . one of our star projects," Tatar said in a telephone interview Monday. He said the emphasis on writing dialogue, or conversations, teaches "something English classes don't teach . . . a kind of literacy that has great ramifications on the strength of the personality in future life."

This year, the playwright project will expand into parts of Orange and Los Angeles counties.

The Old Globe's award is the largest in San Diego County. The subsidies will be allocated beginning Oct. 1.

Other grants in the council's "support for prominent organizations" category went to the San Diego Opera, $81,260; the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, $46,787; the San Diego Repertory Theatre, $36,222; the San Diego Museum of Art, $25,644, and the La Jolla Playhouse, $22,816. Prominent organizations are those with budgets of more than $1 million.

Among smaller organizations, the Sushi performance and art gallery will receive $13,627.

A new method of evaluating applicants allowed the Museum of Photographic Arts to increase its request and almost triple its 1986 allocation from $3,600 to $10,000.

The Grossmont College Art Gallery, the Black Writers and Artists group, the Chicano Park Arts Council, the Foundation for New Literature, the San Diego Arts Resource Center and the San Diego Mini Concert Committee will receive $1,500 each.

The symphony's touring award will cover 50% of the cost of concerts at least 30 miles from San Diego. The grant is made as a reimbursement to presenters, not the symphony, a council official said.

Because of the symphony's history of financial instability, the Arts Council conditioned its grant on "an unusually stringent" requirement for reports to the council staff regarding symphony operations, said Eliot Klein, the council's program administrator for music.

Trombonist and composer Miles Anderson received the only other touring grant made for a San Diego artist or organization.

The San Diego Opera, which will receive almost $19,000 less than it did in 1986, was a victim of the new "hard and fast" Arts Council formula that determines how much an organization can request. Though the opera received the highest artistic ranking possible, "they got hit harder than most" by the new system of evaluating applicants, Klein said.

Under the new formula, the maximum amount the opera could request declined from $150,000 to $120,000 this year.

"This was a transition year," Klein said. "The demand on the dollar was simply greater this year among (the prominent organizations category). We're moving to a system that is predictable and less volatile."

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