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Published Tue, Oct 16, 2012 08:00 PM
Modified Tue, Oct 16, 2012 06:07 PM

Clayton grants two cultural arts lynchpins $10,000

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- rputtterman@newsobserver.com

CLAYTON -- The town has awarded $10,000 in grant funding to two arts groups.

In its sixth year, the Clayton Cultural Arts Grants awarded $3,000 to Clayton Visual Arts and $7,000 to the Clayton Youth Theater.

Clayton Visual Arts is a group whose mission is to bring Art to Clayton. It coordinates 12 monthly art exhibits at the Clayton Center, an annual arts festival and an annual art competition.

“Our mission statement is to bring art to the people of Clayton, and we’re doing as much as we can,” said Larry Strevig, the group’s president.

Strevig said the $3,000 would probably pay for expenses incurred at the CVA’s monthly artist receptions, where the groups offers wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Ultimately though, Strevig said, the CVA is hoping to save any additional funding for the group’s dream of opening an art gallery in downtown Clayton.

“We’ve been trying to put money away so that if an opportunity presents itself, we could rent a building long term and be able to move on that and build an art gallery,” Strevig said.

The gallery would host shows from local artists and, ideally, have a classroom in the back for art classes. However, the group has only managed to save $5,000 for the project.

Still, every little bit counts, and Strevig says this is why he makes a point of thanking the town at every artist’s reception. “When I always thank the town for supporting us, it’s because they support us financially,” he said.

The Clayton Youth Theater will divide its $7,000 between a winter production and a summer musical.

Nikki Dyke, the theater’s director, said she wrote the grant this year for two shows. Last year, the theater put on just one show and received $5,500 through the Clayton Cultural Arts Grant.

“We’ve been recipients each year; it’s something I always make sure that I write,” Dyke said of the grant. “ As our program has grown, I think the committee has obviously seen that growth and realizes the value of what we’re doing, and they’re very much in support of what we do.”

Dyke says its helpful to have the town behind the program financially but also for credibility.

“It also encourages other people, because when they know the town is behind what you’re doing, they also see the value in it and are more willing to help or contribute in a meaningful way,” she said.

The funding will help pay for royalties, scripts, sets, costumes and other expenses that come with producing shows. The rest of the group’s budget comes from fundraising efforts, program advertisements and ticket sales.

“It’s nice to know you have a nice significant amount of money that’s already there, so you can build your fundraising off of that,” Dyke said.

Putterman: 919-553-7234

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