Key programs salvaged from arts council

Organization decides to disband after 23 years


The Perrysburg Area Arts Council is disbanding after 23 years because of a lack of funding and volunteers, but some programs will continue through local support.

“It breaks our heart to have to disband,” said arts council President Corinne Amico of Waterville, “but we don’t have another choice.”

The organization’s membership dropped to four — Mrs. Amico and her husband, Pat, who have a business in Perrysburg, and Perrysburg residents Jason Van Dam and West Vayo, Mrs. Amico said.

Economic woes hitting businesses that no longer help fund programs, coupled with a lack of volunteers, were too much.

“We all have full-time jobs,” Mrs. Amico said. “Jason has a family he is raising too. It is too much for us.”

The city of Perryburg, Perrysburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Main Art-ery in Perrysburg will continue some arts council programs.

The Harrison Rally Day Festival in September returns with the chamber of commerce taking over. It had been a shared sponsor event: The arts council provided the music and artists, the chamber organized the business side.

The youth summer programs will be ongoing, much to Jack Holden’s delight. Mr. Holden, 20, grew up attending the summer youth programs.

He was upset about the arts council’s demise because he and his sister got so much from the program.

“[The summer program] helps kids gain confidence and prepares them for high school,” he said.“It was sad news seeing their Facebook status. .... I’m glad some of the programs are continuing.”

The city’s parks and recreation department will take over the programs, said Jennifer Solon, a Perrysburg artist and former arts council member. Music at the Market will be continued by the Perrysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mrs. Solon said it is great to see programs keep going, but sad about the council. “The arts are such an important part of this community, and it is tough to find resources to put these things on. It is tough finding the money.”

Mrs. Amico, meanwhile, wanted to stress gratitude owed to the group’s founder.

“We owe a lot to Judy Beck and all of the Perrysburg volunteers through the years,” she said. “One of the things I want to bring to the forefront is the dedication of Judy Beck. She was an art teacher to many, and the [council] would not have lasted this many years without her vision and dream."

Mrs. Beck, who was a Perrysburg school teacher, founded the council in 1989. She died in 2003.