The Schwartz Center of Arts in Dover has received the second payment of its $61,000 Delaware Division of the Arts general operating grant. The grant was awarded in 2014 for fiscal year 2015.
The second of three payments was made after the Schwartz submitted a midyear grant report on Feb. 13, according to Paul Weagraff, director of the arts division.
The scheduled payment of $21,350 was made in addition to the first payment of $30,500 that was made last year. The state will withhold 15 percent of the grant money until a final September evaluation is made about use of the grant. The state has provided more than $500,000 to the Schwartz in the past 10 years.
The Schwartz Center submitted financial statements and a three-paragraph narrative report including some details of the center’s progress in restructuring the board, which began in October. The board used a separate $3,000 grant from the state arts division to hire consultant Susan Detwiler to help with governance and bylaws restructuring.
Detwiler met with the Schwartz Center executive director Sydney Arzt and eight unnamed community members on Jan. 29, according to the report. No more details were provided as to what other steps have been taken toward making changes to the board and bylaws during the past five months.
Detwiler told the Kent County SUNDAY in November that she expected to complete her work by the end of March.
Another section of the report discusses “new implementation plans” and states that “a short term operational plan has been developed to begin to recreate the cultural vitality of the theatre.” The report indicates that a long term strategic plan is being developed.
That long-term plan is being developed by Bill Taylor, who was hired as a consultant in August. Documents show that Taylor was paid $1,200 to carry out an initial evaluation of the center. He later submitted a proposal to develop a strategic plan for an additional $27,000.
Harry Williams, chairman of the Schwartz Center board of directors, said last month that the long-term plan, expected to be completed by December, was delayed so that Taylor could work on an interim plan.
According to the midyear report submitted to the Division of the Arts, the center’s short -term “rebirth plan” adds some performances to the schedule and “addresses actions for greater community involvement and participation.” No specifics are provided about community involvement.
Arzt said last month that so far two new “self-funded” performances were added, including the Valentine’s Day concert and wine and spirits tasting, as well as a March 19 concert and Second Line parade with the Rebirth Brass Band.
In a Feb. 26 email, Arzt said the Feb. 14 event was successful, with 308 people attending. She also said the center will issue “a press release within a couple of weeks that will let the public know about our general plans for the next few months.”
“We are interested in creating supporters in this difficult task of enlivenment and renaissance as it relates to the Schwartz Theatre,” Arzt added.
Meanwhile, Weagraff said the Schwartz has applied for program support from the Delaware Division of the Arts for 2015-2016.