The agencies were two of several that council asked to hear more specifics from during its 2011-12 budget talks. The Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia and Big Brothers/Big Sisters had their funding requests granted last month, at $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.
The city’s final spending plan will be voted on June 30. No one spoke at a hearing on the budget Tuesday night.
The Noel Rockmore exhibit, scheduled from Oct. 28 to the end of January, is expected to draw at least 1,000 people from outside the area to the city to see the work. Museum director Megan Johnston said the city’s contribution will be combined with about $25,000 in state and national grants the facility has received to help the exhibit “make a national splash.”
“It’s going to be a big weekend,” she said of the opening. “He was known to be an undiscovered genius.”
Rockmore had his first major show in LaGrange while he was still living, museum representatives said.
“This is a show with national significance and local relevance, which you dream of having as a director,” Johnston said.
The museum already gets at least one call or email a day inquiring about the show.
Council already had approved a budget request for operating expenses at the museum of $20,600, but had asked to hear more about the show before deciding on the $5,000.
LSPA went before council Tuesday asking for $5,500 to fund an arts program it puts on in several local elementary schools. Executive director Michael Burks said the program was started seven years ago when the school system cut funding for arts in the schools.
Lynda Brock teaches an African drum circle class to participating students. The children create their own proverbs to perform as part of the program, which has been featured in the LaGrange Christmas parade and other special events.
“This affects the children firsthand,” said Councilman LeGree McCamey. “They’ve gone back to their classes and excelled.”
LSPA initially had asked for $15,000, well over its appropriation last year of $3,000, because the group had hoped to expand the program to four or five schools.
But Burks said the program had to be cut back because of responsibilities Brock now has in her family. Instead it will be offered in one or two schools.
“This isn’t going to put people in hotels or generate income,” Burks said. “It’s a great program for kids.”
Jennifer Shrader may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (706) 884-7311, Ext. 236.