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WAG Wants Close to Half a Million Dollars

"Art needs to be looked at as an investment." That's what Woodstock's Art Gallery Curator told City Council during Tuesday nights' budget meeting. The gallery is asking for another $110,000 to hire another staff member as well as add to education programs and exhibitions, totalling over $480,000. Woodstock Councillor Paul Plant says it's too much. "Not that I don't believe in the arts, but what is the appropriate amount to spend in a community like this. $580,000 is to me too high. I mean, we know what it costs some other cities and it is far, far, far less than that," said Plant. Acting Curator Patricia Deadman says they quadrupled in space and they need to do the same with staff. "Most public galleries the size of Woodstock have a staff of anywhere from 8 to 10. The issues that we're looking at such as marketing, audience and membership development, even a gift shop manager, even if these are part time position there's someone dedicated to that area of the gallery," said Deadman. Woodstock Councillor Deb Tait was also concerned that revenue is down. "Revenue is down 30 percent what they've budgeted. I mean, $1,000 for the gift store, $1,000 for donations. It's pretty scary," said Tait. However, Deadman is very optimistic that revenue will go up once their marketing and memberships start to develop.

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