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Watauga County Arts Council Could Decide New Direction Tonight PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 11:51

The Watauga County Arts Council is facing a three-faceted decision on it’s very near future, with the town of Boone ending its contract for the Jones House, Art Gallery, and the Jones House Concert Series.  In an email to members and supporters, the choices were outlined— choices that are set to come to a decision in a 5:30pm meeting today. The synopsis, though, ends with the statement that an extended contract will probably lead to the resignation of Executive Director Cherry Johnson, blamed on “the conditions of that contract” which “could place her in a precarious legal and personal position.”  The letter goes on to say her position on this “is not a threat but a reflection of her apparent legal and personal vulnerability.” The plans, put before the membership are three-fold: 
Option A assumes the Arts Council rejects the contract and vacates the Jones House by May 29th.   With Option A WCAC assumes that the contracted service funding from the Town of Boone for the folklorist position will not continue.                                       
Option B assumes the Town would react favorably to the Arts Council continuing on a month-to-month contract through the remainder of the fiscal year.  The Arts Council would then vacate the Jones House but provide a contracted service only for the Concerts on the Lawn through September 30. Option B comes with the assumption that TDA funding through the Town of Boone for the folklorist position will continue through June 30th but will not be available after that date.  It would also assume that the Town Council would be willing to support the Concerts on the Lawn for a contracted fee of $5,000 which would help cover the folklorist services for the summer months.                 
Option C assumes the Arts Council accepts the Town’s offer with or without some edits in that contract which would be requested by the Arts Council and stays in the Jones House through September 30, and assumes that all funding continues through September 30th. It is also the choice that seems to assure the resignation of Cherry Johnson. The meeting is at the former Bill Horn Pediatric Office  at 134 Doctors Drive in Boone at 5:30 this afternoon.


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