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Carbondale agrees to funds for 5Point Film fest, arts programs

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – An adventure film festival that’s now in its fourth year and the local arts council will continue to receive financial support from the town of Carbondale, though not as much as last year.

Carbondale trustees, at a special Tuesday meeting, invited organizers from the 5Point Film Festival, as well as representatives of the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) to further explain their requests for 2011 community grant funds.

Because of dwindling revenues, many of the human service, arts and other nonprofit organizations the town has traditionally granted money to in the past have had to take a cut.

Since the film festival and CCAH grant requests were somewhat larger than other requests, trustees wanted a more full discussion on the matter since both entities are viewed as economic drivers for the town.

“We did have to make some tough cuts this year, so we would like to see some measured results,” Mayor Stacey Bernot said during the Tuesday discussion. “As trustees of the town, we have to make sure we get the basic services done.”

As part of its $5.3 million general fund budget this year, about $4.9 million is for those basic needs, leaving about $449,000 for discretionary spending. Of that, only about $53,000 was set aside for community requests.

The 5Point Film Festival has grown in four years to a four-day festival, taking place at the Carbondale Recreation Center in May. It now draws some of the top adventure filmmakers in the world and attracts sell-out crowds of people, not only locally but from around the country.

“We believe it’s the best adventure film festival in the country, and it’s valuable for the town of Carbondale to be a part of it,” founder Julie Kennedy said. “But we do need financial help, and this is a critical year.”

Last year, the town signed up as an $8,000 presenting sponsor and gave approximately $6,000 in cash and in-kind support for the festival.

This year, trustees agreed to $6,330 plus staff support at the recreation center, as well as a $4,000 sponsorship from the town’s dedicated recreation sales and use tax fund.

The funding is part of a larger community grants package that includes $59,330 in general fund dollars, plus $25,000 in recreation sales and use tax funds to several arts- and recreation-related events and programs.

Among them was a $6,900 grant to CCAH.

Of that, $5,000 will go to support after-school art programs for youth at the new CCAH Center for the Arts in the Third Street Center.

“That is twice what we asked last year, but now we have a classroom where we can do more of these programs, and there is more demand,” CCAH executive director Ro Mead said.

The remainder of the town grant is a fee waiver for use of the Recreation Center for a spring fashion show that CCAH sponsors.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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