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NATIONAL ARTS GRANT DUE FOR COMBO

San Diego County Arts Writer

Representatives of COMBO and the National Endowment for the Arts will announce the award of a major grant today, for a program that will support San Diego cultural activities and artists who have not previously had access to regular funding sources.

The grant will be the first received from the NEA by COMBO, the Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County, which raises funds for 27 arts organizations. COMBO was selected by the San Diego City Council earlier this year as the local agency to apply for the grant. The application called for a minimum 2-to-1 funding match for the $150,000 NEA outlay, according to Robert Canon, director of the NEA’s Locals Test Program. So the city must provide $300,000 over the grant’s three-year schedule.

Two-thirds of the funds generated are to provide technical services and financial assistance to programs and products of high artistic quality. Twenty-five percent of those funds are for art in public places. Another part of the grant is to provide technical assistance to artists and arts groups.

Institutions not receiving direct benefit include such large organizations as the Old Globe Theatre, the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera. Those groups will benefit from other parts of the plan involving the establishment of a discount ticket booth, an arts video project and the addition of a Spanish-language version of COMBO’s Arts Hotline information service.

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The San Diego Theatre League is scheduled to operate the ticket booth (ARTSTIX), to be located in Horton Plaza. The video program, COMBO development director Sharon LeeMaster said, would provide weekly clips of arts activities to commercial, public and cable television stations, along with script information, to be edited and used on news or arts programs.

“We talked with television people, who said they would be interested in using this kind of information,” LeeMaster said.

Canon and COMBO executive director Robert Arnhym will announce the award at 10:30 a.m. today in the City Council chambers.


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