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Indiana Arts Commission delays changes

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The Indiana Arts Commission on Friday morning accepted a staff recommendation to alter its regional partnership program, but will delay action until April 9.

The regional partnership program, launched in 1997, aims to make arts available in all 92 counties. Since then it has relied on designated partners, usually local arts councils, to make grants and provide services locally. The current proposal would centralize many of those administrative functions, saving the state-funded arts commission about $344,000 a year.

Regional partners speaking at the commission's quarterly meeting Friday asked for two months to come up with alternative plans. The commission set a deadline of April 1 for alternative proposals, spokesman Rex Van Zant said.

Van Zant said the commission accepted the staff's recommendation Friday because of an upcoming meeting with the state Office of Management and Budget, in which it may learn that its $3.2 million budget will be reduced further in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The commission wanted to show that it is working on ways to cut expenses amid falling state revenue.

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