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Panel Postpones Arts Grant Review

May 22, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

Saying they had too little time to review a mound of information they received last week, the city's Cultural Affairs Commission has put off choosing recipients to share in $1 million in arts grants.

The five-member panel voted unanimously to discuss the grants in a month. The decision will allow enough time for the committee to review the applications and for the three groups already recommended for the money to turn in updated business plans, officials said.

"The volume of information with these projects is huge," said Commissioner Ed Elrod, pointing to a 5-inch-thick binder of applications from eight arts groups that applied for the money.

Earlier this month, a review panel recommended that three of the eight applicants receive a total of $885,000 in grant money.

The committee suggested the Ventura County Museum of History and Art receive $650,000 to build galleries, a restaurant and outdoor stage, the Laurel Theatre receive $150,000 for expansion and Burnon Inc. be awarded $85,000 to start a ticketing agency.

The recommendations were forwarded to the Cultural Affairs Commission, which will make its own endorsements. The final decision rests with the City Council, which will discuss the grants this summer.

The one-time grants are geared to help downtown arts groups grow, drawing more tourists and art patrons to downtown shops, galleries and restaurants.

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