The Columbia Festival of the Arts' 11-day run played to large crowdsand overwhelming audience response, festival organizers said.

"Generally, it was as successful as last year," said Lynne Nemeth, managing director of the festival. "The audiences were as enthusiastic, ifnot more so."

Although the statistics haven't been tabulated, organizers estimate that the festival brought in around $100,000. More than 30,000 people attended, with one-third coming from the Baltimore and Washingtonareas.

Organizers have been working since December on arrangements for next summer's festival. They expect this year's operating budget of $525,000 to be about the same for next year.

The event openedJune 27 with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and closed Sunday with flutist James Galway playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Nemeth estimates that more than 3,000 people attended the Ailey performance and around 6,000 went to hear Galway.

The festivalappeared in a dozen locations throughout the county, showcasing 65 events by 32 performing artists and more than 50 artists, seven visualarts exhibits and several classes and workshops.

It also featuredthe Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the Afro-Caribbean and modern dance group, Garth Fagan Dance; composer and pianist William Bolcom and his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris; and the Shizumi Dance Theater.

Many of the performers also offered student coachings andworkshops.

"The workshops were well-received and well-attended," Nemeth said. "The Shakespeare symposiums and play readings went well.The open rehearsals by the Chamber Society went great. Its director,Fred Sherry, asked the audience what they thought. Do they think it's balanced? Do they have suggestions? The audience loved it."

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