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Foundation to distribute grant money to cultural organizations

by Kim Mines

CORRESPONDENT

The Clarksburg-Harrison Cultural Foundation will distribute $3,200 in grants to 11 organizations during its annual meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Waldomore.

Foundation President Barbara Bean said the non-profit organization serves as a cultural support system for the community and its arts.

"I think that there are more organizations coming up -- for instance, we used to just have one theater group, and now there are several," she said. "Some of these groups are especially important because they involve children, and our children are the future of our arts and culture."

Board member Don Gardner said groups and organizations must meet criteria to qualify.

"One common thread for all of the recipients is the fact that they are all locally based, use local talent, and perform for local audiences," said Gardner.

Gardner, also a member of the Madrigals, said all grants and donations are important to the county's various art organizations.

"They enable us to continue our work and help us to perform the best we can for the folks in our area,"he said.

The Toolbox Theatre Co., Bean said, introduces children to acting and theater. Other organizations, like the Fort New Salem Heritage Arts Summer Internships and West Virginia Mountain Products, give children a chance to learn about art, dance and music.

The foundation also helped launch the Artist-in-Residence Program in Harrison County, Bean said.

Aimee Richards, director of the newly formed Toolbox Theatre Co., said the grant her group received was a godsend. The Toolbox Theatre helps educate children about issues such as school violence, cultural differences and substance abuse.

"Without grant money, we couldn't do it," Richards said.

The Madrigals and the Larry Parsons Chorale are two of the oldest performing musical groups in the community.

"We've been active for over 23 years," said Parsons of the Chorale. "The grants mean quite a lot. Over the years, the support of groups like the foundation have been crucial and helpful."

Lisa Mosca, director of the ACT II Theatre Co., said community support from organizations like the Clarksburg-Harrison Cultural Foundation means even more than the monetary values.

"It means that we have the respect and support of our community," she said. "It's wonderful when the arts support one another."

Bean said Sunday's meeting is open to the public, and the Harrison Chamber Trio will provide entertainment. The trio features flutist Sandy Gore, cellist WhaJa Chang, and pianist Don Gardner. The trio will play music by Franz Joseph Haydn.

To make a contribution to the organization, contact the Clarksburg Harrison Cultural Foundation at P.O. Box 2252, Clarksburg, WV, 26302.

"We would love to have the support and the contributions are tax deductible," said Bean.

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