Council gives more to art center

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

City Council approved a motion to continue funding the Austin Area Art Center (AAAC) Annual City Art Award at $500 instead of the proposed 2011 budget amount of $100.

Linda Draper, manager of the AAAC, explained the art award and its significance to the council in a work session Tuesday night.

The annual city purchase award is awarded to one artist each year; the city pays $500 for the artwork and then the artist receives $400 with the remaining $100 received by the AAAC.

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Draper explained that the matting, framing and glass for the artwork alone can sometimes cost over $100, so if the council cut the award as planned the AAAC would be losing money with the award and neither the artist nor the center would not reap any benefits from it.

Draper also explained that this award is the only funding the center receives from the city; all other funding is raised independently within the center.

Mayor Tom Stiehm said that although he is not personally interested in art, he recognizes that it is an important part of the community and needs to be kept alive. “We’ve been trying to cut things (in the budget), not kill things,” Stiehm said.

The council approved the motion to continue funding the grant at $500 annually in a vote of 5-2.