December 22, 2014

Elyria
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TrueNorth festival postponed

AVON LAKE — A poor turnout at last year’s “ArtsFest” hosted by TrueNorth Cultural Arts Center in Avon Lake may have led to the city pulling its funds and effectively postponing this weekend’s annual event.
Avon Lake chipped in more than $3,000 in the past by picking up the tab for various costs, including a stage, sound system and tent, but made the decision to back out of this year’s festival based on the
recommendation of former recreation director Lisa Adams, who thought the event’s poor attendance didn’t warrant the funds of the recreation department.
Alex Nichols, the city’s current recreation director, said the money could be used for other park programs that don’t generate revenue.
“The last three years, Safety Town has been in the red by $2,000,” she said.” If we have fewer expenses this year, we can cover programs like that.”
Richard Fortney, TrueNorth’s founder and director, said although he was initially disappointed, he’s enjoying the experience of locating new sponsors willing to take on up to $6,000.
“I’m very sorry that it had to be postponed,” he said. “The city sees its money can be used in more important ways than an arts festival.”
Fortney said he hoped to have the festival up and running by the fall, and was confident that the money for the fifth annual event would get raised.
The festival had several interactive programsw last year, including eight “Art in Action” booths, where people spent time creating their own art projects, some of which were sent to veterans and Avon Lake natives serving in Iraq.
“We’ve received a lot of favorable comments from local businesses and organizations,” Fortney said. “Stay tuned for a community function that will help bring back the festival to Avon Lake.”
Contact Stephen Szucs at 329-7129 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.