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The Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development, has awarded three Carroll County arts groups $37,348 in matching grants for fiscal 1992.

The grants were part of $5.13 million in General Assembly-allotted money that was given out to arts organizations across the state.

That figure is down by 10.3 percent over last year due to state budget restraints.

The three Carroll organizations that received grants are:

* The Carroll County Arts Council: $33,848 in Community Arts Development Grant.

The council's grant is down 10 percent from last year's $37,598. Additionally, the state is holding back 10 percent of this year's grant until December 1991, said Peggy Slater, council director.

A 48 percent cut in county money over last year also has hurt the arts council. The county slashed its financing from $29,000 in fiscal 1991 to $15,000 for fiscal 1992.

"We're trying ourlevel best to keep every program alive," Slater said. "We will not be contributing as much to the different programs, but none have been canceled."

The council's proposed 1992 budget is $64,148. Besides the state and county, the council gets money from the Department of Recreation and Parks ($1,000), interest on its bank account ($1,000), dues ($6,800), cultural programs ($6,000), and individual contributions ($500).

Slater said the council already has targeted the state money for the following uses: $18,000 for administrative and operating expenses; $2,000 for the Artists in Education program; $6,000 for subgrants to local arts organizations; and $4,464 for programs and projects.

The remaining $3,384 will be held back until December, whenSlater must turn in an interim report on the council's activities toDEED, she said.

* Theatre on the Hill: $1,500 Theater Grant.

Although producer Ira Domser received $500 more than he did last year from the state grant, he still was disappointed that this grant was given for "Nunsense" rather than "The Wizard of Oz."

"We submitted two grants and asked for $8,000," Domser said. "I would have felt better if they had given us the money for "Wizard" because it's a much bigger production and more for the children and their families."

Theatre on the Hill's production costs are higher than many area community theater groups because the Western Maryland College organization pays its actors, Domser said.

Although the theater gets support from WMC, it derives the biggest part of its budget from ticket sales to its summer productions.

"This grant is just another example of the arts council passing us over," Domser said.

* Mid-Atlantic Movement Theatre Festival: $2,000 Theater Grant.

Formerly the NationalMime Association, the group received the same amount as last year toward its annual festival given in January at Towson State University.

The group is headed by David Geyer of Westminster.

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