An effort to bring back the summer Harbor for the Arts festival has failed. Arts Enter, under the direction of Chairman Hank Meyer, along with the Citizens for Central Park acquired $1000 of taxpayer funds from the Town of Cape Charles to go towards a “proposed” Virginia Tourism Leveraged Grant of $2500 which was to be used for a revival of the festival.
In order to submit an application for the VTC Leveraged Grant, Arts Enter had to come up with three primary partners. It could not do so. This rebuke comes on the heels of a rejection by the ES Birding and Wildlife Festival last spring. Arts Enter, after learning that the Birding and Wildlife Festival had broken ties with Cape Charles based Eventacular, attempted to swoop in and take over where Eventacular had left off. The Birding and Wildlife Festival, apparently not anxious to rebound with another Cape Charles organization, vigorously rejected the Arts Enter offer.
While for the Harbor for the Arts Festival may be on hold, Citizens for Central Park are moving ahead with the “Concerts in the Park” series. Arts Enter Chairman Hank Meyer states in a letter to the town that the cost to continue the series is over $10,000, and requests that the town taxpayers provide funding to make up the shortfall. Monies will have to be allocated from the General Fund. In the letter, Meyers labels the concert series a ‘major tourism program’.
Even had Arts Enter been able to secure partnerships, putting on the festival with only a few thousand dollars seems to be a far cry from the original events in 2013-14. According to Arts Enter’s Hank Meyer, “During 2013-2014 the Harbor for the Arts Festival, Experimental Film Virginia and Cape Charles Art Walk Conceptual Design projects projects were funded by a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program that was awarded to Arts Enter, the Town of Cape Charles and Citizens for Central Park as the three principal Partners, $25,000 contribution from the Town, and other donations and matching funds. A total of about $134,000 was spent on the combined program, with all except the $25,000 from the Town flowing through Arts Enter’s bank account.
In addition, during 2013-2014 VTC grants of $10,000 to the Cape Charles Bed & Breakfast Association(CCBBA) and $5,000 to Arts Enter, plus matching funds went into creating the successful CapeCharlesByThe Bay.com website and print media campaign that were transferred to the Town at the beginning of 2015. A total of $28,258 were spent on this project, with funds running through a CCBBA bank account.”
The Mirror has attempted to get a ledger from Arts Enter to account for the gap between the amount spent in 2013-14, and the amount requested for this season’s festival. Thus far, the Mirror has only received a verbal accounting of $9,635 which apparently went towards internal administrative costs.