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ASC to give less funding to cultural organizations

The Arts and Science Council doles out $12 million dollars with no strings attached to local organizations. This year, the council is preparing to reduce that amount by 6.6 percent to 20 percent. Actor's Theater of Charlotte Executive Director Dan Shoemaker says 10 percent of its budget comes from the ASC. He says he expected the cut because of the recession. But he remains optimistic the theater will be just slightly below budget because he says ticket sales are steady. "I think in tough economic times people will pick and choose and if for instance a theatre has a show that's appealing, then it will be a kind of distraction from the economic woes to go out and have a good time," says Shoemaker. For the Historic Latta Plantation it's a different story. Executive Director Kristin Toller says about 15-percent of its budget comes from the ASC. She says in the fall, attendance dropped by 50 percent and has stayed down. The Charlotte Symphony's largest funding source is from the ASC. A spokeswoman says the organization is seeking foundation grants for the first time because of the poor economy.