Londonderry Arts Council Asks Town for More Support

The Londonderry Arts Council gave a presentation to the Town Council on Monday night, highlighting the annual Concerts on the Common series on the Londonderry Common, during the next three months.
The Arts Council, represented by Larry Casey, used the opportunity to ask town officials to increase the town’s support from $950 a year to $4,500.
Casey told the council members that the Arts Council, which is operated by volunteers from town, used to receive $2,500 from the town every year, until a budget cut.

The Art Council’s current annual budget, according to Casey, is roughly $15,000, with the majority of that sum (approximately $12,000) coming from artists’ fees (Artists that wish to use the town’s stage to present their arts and music) and the rest, from the different local businesses who support and sponsor the council.
Casey admitted that the arts council is working hard on finding more sponsors and raising funds these days, so it can pay everything that was agreed with the artists that will perform in this summer’s Concerts on the Common.
Town Manager, Kevin Smith, answered Casey’s request to up the Arts Council’s funds by saying he will look into the subject and try to move some money in next year’s town budget, to help the Arts Council’s operations.
Casey said that the Arts Council mission is to enrich Londonderry quality of life by promoting culture and arts in the community and to make Londonderry a more attractive place to live for families, who can move into town and raise their children.
He went on to present the different programs that the council is running, starting with the Concerts on the Common. This year will be the 18th for this program and it will begin, as usual, with performances by music groups from Londonderry High School (Jazz Lab, Rock Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble) on Monday, Jun. 3.
After that, every Wednesday at 7 p.m. (Except Jul. 3), a band will perform at the Londonderry Common. In case of rain, the show will move to the Matthew Thornton school gym. Last year, some performances attracted over 600 people.
The Arts Council also operates Art in Action, a two day program which took place last weekend at Mack’s Apples and allowed local artists to show and sell their works, while also connecting with visitors and speaking about their art.
The Arts Café program started a few years ago and brings together in February crafts people, artists, musicians and visitors during the winter, in a close location. At the Leach Library there is a rotating presentation of artists from the area (Not only Londonderry) – Every month a new artist has a chance to present his or hers work and leave business cards and other information. Mr. Casey said that there is a list of artists who wish to become part of this program. Other program is the Nutfield Sessions, monthly open mic event for bands that Mr. Casey started 15 years ago. The next event will be in June.

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