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City to Seek Proposals to Run Spinoff of Soviet Arts Festival

San Diego County Arts Writer

Proposals for an alternative Freedom Arts Festival, a spinoff of the upcoming San Diego Arts Festival: “Treasures of the Soviet Union,” will be solicited next week, city officials said Friday.

In response to critics of the Soviet arts festival, scheduled for three weeks in October and November, the City Council last September earmarked $30,000 for a “freedom festival.” At that time, the council members talked of devoting such a festival to “victims” of the Soviet Union, such as Vietnamese, Afghani and Nicaraguan refugees.

However, the city manager’s request for festival proposals makes no reference to victims of Soviet aggression.

“We don’t feel like it has any political connotation whatsoever,” Deputy City Manager Jack McGrory said. “We’re leaving it pretty much wide open to people who want to come back and submit proposals to us.”

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The city is looking for an individual or agency to organize the festival.

The city’s Commission for Arts and Culture will appoint a panel to review the applications. Key factors to be considered, McGrory said, will be the quality of the proposed project, innovation and creativity in the use of resources, evidence of community representation and impact on artists, organizations and the public.

Another factor is the festival’s ability to reach children, the poor and minorities. Deadline for proposals is mid-June.

Applicants are “encouraged” to focus on the ability to raise $15,000 to supplement the $30,000 city grant, McGrory said.

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“The burden will be on the proposer to come back and show us a plan for pulling off the logistics of the Freedom Arts Festival,” McGrory said. “Someone who comes in with the capability to (raise the additional) $15,000 will be given preferential consideration through the evaluation process.”

As of Friday, no dates or length of run were specified for the festival.


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