Call to Order and Roll Call
The1st meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Economic Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, July 28, 2011, at<MeetTime> 10:30 AM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative John A. Arnold Jr., Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Brandon Smith, Co-Chair; Representative John A. Arnold Jr., Co-Chair; Senator Ray S. Jones II, Representatives Leslie Combs, Terry Mills, Lonnie Napier, Tanya Pullin, Marie Rader, Rick Rand, Fitz Steele, and Susan Westrom.
Guests: Senator Joe Bowen, Representative Brent Yonts, Representative Tommy Thompson, Mr. Dudley Cotton, House Majority Leadership Staff; Ms. Mary Bryan Hood, Director, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art and Mr. Dean Stanley, Chairman, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
Overview and Budgetary Request of Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
Chairman Arnold welcomed members and guests to the meeting and recognized special guests Senator Joe Bowen, Representative Brent Yonts, House Majority Whip Representative Tommy Thompson, and Appropriations and Revenue Co-Chair Representative Rick Rand to the meeting.
Ms. Hood and Mr. Stanley gave a brief presentation informing the committee on the Museum and possible expansion plans. The Museum has the potential to offer even greater educational opportunities to the people of western Kentucky, and the opportunities are even more important in light of the recent financial challenges faced by regional school systems. The Museum’s experience in planning and implementing creative educational programs will benefit the region and state similar to the way the Kentucky Historical Society does with its state-assisted programs. Mr. Stanley noted that eastern Kentucky is represented through the Prestonsburg Mountain Arts Center and the Kentucky Artisan’s Center in Berea and a Western Kentucky Center for the Visual Arts could serve the same purpose for western Kentucky. The vision was recently shared with the local legislative team as well the Governor’s Office. Mr. Stanley requested on behalf of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art that the legislature include funding for the museum as a line item in the state’s next biennium budget for $500,000 in each year of the 2012-2014 fiscal biennium to support the program expansion efforts while developing the regional center.
In response to a question asked by Representative Napier, Chairman Stanley stated that there are approximately 70,000 visitors each year and of that amount approximately 20 percent are tourists.
In response to a follow up question, Ms. Hood stated that information is given out to participants about other attractions within Kentucky that are geared towards the arts.
Representative Napier suggested the Museum should pay tribute or celebrate Bill Monroe who was the founding father of bluegrass music and the writer of the famous bluegrass song “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Ms. Hood stated the Museum plans to celebrate Mr. Monroe’s 100 Birthday with programs such as Bluegrass Splash and Bluegrass Roots. Both celebrations will have emphasis on Bill Monroe and Bluegrass music.
In response to a suggestion made by Representative Pullin, Ms. Hood stated that the suggestion to have the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art get involved with the Governor’s School for the Arts program was a wonderful idea and that she would follow up with Representative Thompson on the suggestion.
In response to a question asked by Appropriations and Revenue Co-Chairman, Representative Rand, Ms. Hood stated the Museum’s plans to develop the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art into a Western Kentucky Center for the Visual Arts is not only an expansion of buildings but an expansion of programs as well. Programs such as “County Days,” where one county in the state of Kentucky is highlighted each day, is a program she would like to see expanded.
In response to a follow up question asked by Representative Rand, Ms. Hood stated that the Museum’s annual budget is approximately $800,000.
Senator Bowen stated sometimes things need to be salvaged and he believed it was time for the people of Western Kentucky and their arts programs to be saved.
In response to a question asked by Representative Yonts, Director Hood stated the Museum is privately owned and admission is free and is open to all. When asked if the Museum is a not-for-profit organization, Ms. Hood stated that was correct.
In response to a follow up question asked by Representative Yonts, Mr. Stanley stated that grant operating support for the Museum from the Arts Council has been reduced and is approximately $30,000 annually. Other support is provided by the city, county, private funds, and donations.
Representative Napier suggested also paying tribute to Dottie Rambo, an American Gospel singer and songwriter born in Madisonville, Kentucky.
In an unrelated request, Representative Pullin asked for LRC Staff to research restoring habitat for quail.
Chairman Arnold thanked all in attendance and adjourned the meeting at 11:25 A.M.