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ALCA manager submits testimony during Arts Day

"That money never came through because the spending freeze was put on in September of 2008," she added. "We have not been told definitively that we will not receive funding in 2009 but it certainly doesn't look good."

As the Arts Decentralization Coordinator for Hamilton County, Strader and the ALCA will assist regional organizations to work through the freeze but admits that options are limited. In fact, the ALCA is under the same financial pressure as other organizations as they work to realign their 2009-10 budgets.

"I'm trying to be optimistic but a good chunk of the Arts Center's NYSCA funds go toward our general operating fund," Strader said. "The second part of the funding goes toward performances so we will have to make cuts there."

Expected cuts include the renegotiation of pending concert program contracts and an overall cut in the number of events to be held in 2009.

"We're trying to be upbeat and NYSCA has always been supportive of us but there is just so much they can do," she noted.

While a final decision on the 2009 NYSCA funding is expected by March, Strader expects there will be further budget cuts on the horizon.

"People are going to have to think about their projects and get even more creative next year," she concluded. "I think we're going to see some lean times in the near future."

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