At a meeting Monday, members were encouraged to recruit new faces for the council, which has expanded its reach in recent years through new programs and initiatives.
This year, the group plans to support programs for children, youth and adults. Its efforts will include the annual Dinner Theater set for Feb. 6, $500 arts grants for area schools, support for the Sylacauga High School arts program and reading programs at B.B. Comer Library, Miss Sylacauga and Miss Marble Valley pageant scholarships, and most importantly, funding for the sixth annual Magic of Marble Festival — a two-week event it created to highlight Sylacauga’s white marble.
“Your membership money honestly goes back to your children and your community,” said programs director Elaine Liveoak. “We are not here to make a profit in any way. We really use that money to do some good in this community.”
Membership fees start at $25, and information is available from any Arts Council member. More than 400 mail-outs with membership and donation information will be sent this week.
Also Monday, the group approved new officers for two-year terms starting next month. Officers are as follows: Ted Spears, president; Renee Riggins, vice president of membership; Elaine Liveoak, vice president of programming; Judy Maness, treasurer; Pam Bolton, secretary; Patti Heath, parliamentarian; Cindy Ellison, historian; and Mildred Campbell, community relations.
In other business, the council:
• Approved a budget of $28,800 for the upcoming fiscal year.
• Heard Liveoak announce that school grant applications will be sent to area principals soon. Teachers are encouraged to ready applications to be reviewed and possibly approved for a $500 arts-centered grant. Seven grants were awarded last year.
• Heard B.B. Comer Library Director Shirley Spears announce the library’s next eight-week Brown Bag lecture series beginning Sept. 18. Topics will mostly be of historic interest, including World War I, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and Salem Witch Trials. “I’m looking forward to it, and it promises to be very good,” Spears said.
The council’s next meeting is Sept. 23 at noon at the Chamber of Commerce.