Staring down the prospect of drastic budget cuts proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, the Georgia Council for the Arts has proactively reduced staff, cut programs and changed granting procedures in the hopes of protecting existing contracts and grant money for fiscal year 2011.
As reported on the GCA Web site, the Traditional Arts program, whose mission was to preserve the oral, material and performance traditions of indigenous and immigrant populations, took the biggest hit. The GCA laid off Brandy Klopp, Traditional Arts program manager, and closed the program down.
Gone, too, is administrative director Hilda Green, who ran the office, navigated the state bureaucracy and served as liaison to other state agencies for five years.
The GCA has changed its application procedures as well. In order to save travel expenses, grant reviewers will no longer visit applicant venues. The “on-site” visits will now be conducted via teleconference. So will the peer review sessions, in which a panel of judges discuss the applicants and award grants. To keep costs down, these sessions will be limited to three hours. For other procedural changes, see the GCA’s Web site.