Fine Arts College Faces Funding Woes Creatively

By BobAnderson | THE JOURNAL RECORD, March 15, 1995 | Go to article overview

Fine Arts College Faces Funding Woes Creatively


BobAnderson, THE JOURNAL RECORD


A dwindling budget has forced the University of Oklahoma into creative financing _ juggling existing funds and actively seeking new money.

The College of Fine Arts is a prime example of how individual departments and colleges at OU are confronting and dealing with the shortage of funds.

"I think the arts have an advantage at fund-raising more so than the other colleges because we are so visible," Fine Arts Dean David G. Woods said. "We can take our orchestra to Tulsa and we can take a string quartet to someone's home in Oklahoma City. We can raise money."

Budget cuts resulted in the School of Drama dropping three performances from its usual 12-performance season. The second oldest drama school in the country also lost one seamstress in its costume shop and had to reduce longdistance recruiting calls.

Overall, half of the graduate teaching assistant positions were cut in the School of Art, as was the number of dance assistants. Teaching positions in the school of music were cut and adjunct instructors brought in to teach cello and saxophone classes. Adjunct instructors are paid for each class they teach and do not hold full-time faculty positions.

"The problem we have in the arts is that you get to what I call a level of adequacy and you can't go below that and still produce," Woods said. "That is to say, if you don't have the money to support a violin studio or a trombone studio then you can't have an orchestra."

If the university wasn't going to give more money then fine arts would have to raise it for itself. That's when the only fine arts college in the Big Eight decided to do a little fund-raising of its own.

Last year, the college started thinking creatively and earned $177,600.

Money was earned by selling seats to the newly opened Max Weitzenhoffer Theater. Metal nameplates, that would be engraved with a person's name, were sold for $500 each.

The college raised $55,000 by selling 110 plates.

Three hundred fifty donors and patrons attended the Arts, Arts, Arts Black Tie Gala dinner. …

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