TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Festival Guild is facing a budget crisis.
The local arts group has learned it will not receive funding from the New York State Council on the Arts in the next fiscal year.
That's a loss of $4,000 for the Ti Festival Guild, which has provided weekly summer evening concerts the past 31 years. It has offered weekly children's arts programs the past 28 years.
"We've received that funding for many, many years," said Cathie Burdick, guild executive director. "We count on it. It's a lot of money for a small organization like ours.
"We'll squeak through this fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31," she said. "But 2011 will be very difficult, especially until we have our spring membership drive."
The funding cut will mean changes for the guild.
"The board is determined to keep the Arts Trek (children's program) going," Burdick said. "There will be changes to the evening concerts. The attendance has been down - in 2009 we lost about $200 and probably about $1,000 this year on the evening concerts, but we're still closing the books."
Burdick said next summer's evening concerts will be fewer and probably feature local programs, like the Ticonderoga Community Band and a local talent night.
"We'd like to find the funding for a free community concert," Burdick said. "I think attendance would be good at a free concert."
The New York State Council on the Arts gave three reasons for denying funding to the local arts group, Burdick said. The programming is stale, funding lacks diversity and the lack of a guild website were the reasons given.
"From our point of view those are not valid reasons," Burdick said. "They suggested we do block scheduling with other arts groups and try to schedule European performers touring the U.S. That's not practical for us. We can't afford groups like that.
"As for funding, we raise money through our program book ads, grants, individual donations, memberships and other fundraising activities," she said. "If there is more that we can do, I wish they would tell me."
The Ti Festival Guild website was down for two weeks in early June, when the funding application was being considered, Burdick said, but was operating before and has been since.
This season the guild held its programs at the Knights of Columbus pavilion. It's an arrangement Burdick hopes to continue.
"We need to talk with the Knights of Columbus about next year, but we're very satisfied," she said. "It's been a good match."
The guild will formally close its 2010 season with its President's Party. It will be a family picnic on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. at the K of C pavilion.
Each year the president picks an event, open to the public, as a special get-together.
A basket raffle will be part of the program. Featured will be traditional picnic food: hot dogs, hamburgers, wings, baked beans, salad, chips, dessert and beverages. Games will be offered for the children and others who wish to enter. For musical fun, easy circle and square dances will be called.
The ticket price is $12 for adults and $5 for children, not to exceed $25 for a family. Tickets are available from board members and by calling 585-7015.