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Local art community concerned about commission vote

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LEWISBURG, W. Va (WVVA)-- A controversial vote leaves a local art community angry.

At a meeting, the Greenbrier County Commission voted 2 to 1 to amend the process by which the county's libraries, Carnegie Hall, and Greenbrier Valley Theatre receive money from the county.

Previously, those groups would go directly to the commission to apply for funds. But now, they must go through an advisory committee, as smaller groups requesting funding already are required to do.

Locals say they think the change is a threat to arts in the area.

"You're asking them to compete with other organizations whose budgets may not be as great as those for Carnegie Hall and GVT may be," said Lewisburg resident Dr. Sherry Roper.

 She said she fears the vote will jeopardize the amount of funding those two organizations would receive from the commission in the future.

But county Commissioner Michael McClung said that was not the message he meant by his vote for the amendment.

"No one on the commission had any agenda as to cutting funding for these three entities," he said. "That was not part of the conversation. It was not part of the business meeting."
McClung said the vote was meant to maintain equality between each group asking for county money.

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