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Huntington Beach

May 06, 1999|Eron Ben-Yehuda, (714) 965-7172, Ext. 13

Five of the six employees who run the Huntington Beach Art Center's day-to-day affairs are leaving because of the city's plans to boost revenue by changing the focus of exhibits away from cutting-edge material to more traditional art, said Naida Osline, the center's director. Osline is not among those quitting in protest, but she is leaving for a new position as the city's special events director. She said she shares her colleagues' concerns about the center losing its niche in the art world because of the city's action.

But city officials are simply trying to erase a $300,000-plus deficit, Community Services Director Ron Hagan said. The center "may have been a critical success, but it still comes down to paying the bills," he said. "The [City] Council is unwilling to subsidize the art center."

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