Carroll County Arts Council and two other county arts organizations have received grants totaling $53,177 from the Maryland State Arts Council.
The matching grant program supports the operations of arts organizations, continuing arts programs and other projects.
Carroll County Arts Council received $50,577 for fiscal year 1996, which began July 1, while Chamber Music on the Hill at Western Maryland College was awarded $600, and Theatre on the Hill, also at the college, was given $2,000.
"All of the county arts councils around the state received the same amount as last year," said Hilary Hatfield, director of Carroll County Arts Council.
"Our plans for the money are basically the same as last year. We're not anticipating any other increase in our budget over what we earn from our programs."
A portion of the state grant money is allowed to be used for internal and administrative costs, Mrs. Hatfield said. About 23.2 percent is returned to the community in the form of student scholarships, grants to smaller arts organizations, arts programs in the schools and recreation and parks.
Remaining money is used for the arts council's programs, such as Art in the Park, bus trips, gallery exhibits and a bimonthly newsletter.
"We're required to give $2,000 of the grant money to the Artist in Education program, but we give beyond that because we see the need for it in the schools," Mrs. Hatfield said. "We've budgeted $3,500 to be matched by the PTAs or the school for this year.
"Our goal is to reduce our internal programming and increase our external programs so that we're primarily a regranting organization to other arts groups," she said.
The arts council has 15 applications from county organizations for grants that must be reviewed in the next month or so. About $9,000 in grants has been requested, Mrs. Hatfield said.
She said she would like to see other arts organizations in the county grow to the point where they can apply directly for a state arts grant.
"The community is growing to the point that we can't do that much [for other organizations]," Mrs. Hatfield said. "We want to encourage more agencies to get their own money, like Theatre on the Hill [does]."
Carroll County Arts Council gets 60.7 percent of its funds from grants from the state arts council, Carroll County government, and this year for the first time, the city of Westminster, which appropriated $1,000 to the council.
The remaining 39.3 percent comes from individual and corporate contributions, fund raising, the arts council foundation and programs such as bus trips for which fees are charged, Mrs. Hatfield said.
Theatre on the Hill is in its 13th season. Its $2,000 state grant is a very small part of the summer professional theater's $110,000 budget, said producer Ira Domser.
"It's a little above what we've gotten in the past, but it's not where we should be," he said. "Carroll County typically gets less funding than other counties.
"It's good to be supported, and we try to get better and better recognition each year."
Chamber Music on the Hill's $600 grant was for its concert series in residence at the college. Faculty members, along with professional musicians from the Baltimore/Washington symphonies, play well-known chamber music works.
"The $600 will be used for the expense of our three concerts during the year, for honorariums, advertising and other costs," said David Kreider, artistic director of Chamber Music on the Hill.