IRVINE — Irvine's cultural programs survived the city's budget ax Tuesday, the same day the city's Fine Arts Center received a boost from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Although a two-year total of $430,000 was pared from fiscal 1991-93 budgets for various cultural programs--$100,000 more in cuts than originally proposed--there were no layoffs and the city's newly established Cultural Affairs Commission will remain in existence.
"The Cultural Affairs Commission was gratified by the outpouring of community support," said Henry Korn, the city's cultural affairs manager, "particularly from the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Sikh and Asian Indian communities in Irvine. We look forward to sustaining and accelerating the cultural development of the city."
It is the five-member commission's responsibility, according to the City Council, "to develop, foster and promote the arts as experiences central to the life of the city." In the budget approved Tuesday night, two cultural staff positions that are now vacant will remain unfilled, including a facilities and operations coordinator for the Irvine Fine Arts Center. In addition, over the next two years $50,000 will be cut from city funding for the center's exhibitions, a 50% reduction.
However, Korn said, the city received word this week that the NEA has awarded the center $15,000 to support "Issue of Empire," a multicultural exhibition of drawing, painting and installation art, which opens in December.
Participating in the exhibition will be Richard Turner, an environmental artist who directs the gallery at Chapman College in Orange, as well as several Vietnamese refugee artists who have yet to be chosen.