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Arts Alliance Weighs Its Future

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A longstanding Richmond arts organization is orchestrating an overhaul. The Alliance for the Performing Arts, which formed in 1999 to study citywide arts venues and ultimately championed the effort to erect CenterStage, is deliberating whether to close or relaunch.

An e-mail distributed by the group in early August notes dwindling attendance at monthly meetings in the last year, and includes a survey designed to gauge respondents' preference for three options: to dissolve, restart “as a regional group of performing arts organizations with fresh mission, purpose and goals,” or ditch the performance moniker and become a broader regional arts group under a new name: the Alliance for Cultural Arts.

“It's quite clear from these conversations that there's no point in going on as we have been for the last year,” says David Fisk, executive director of the Richmond Symphony. He heads a task force that plans to use the survey's 49 responses to help craft a recommendation for the group's fate.

“Part of our goal is to make sure there is coordination between any continuing alliance and CultureWorks going forward,” Fisk says. Formerly known as the Arts Council of Richmond, the arts advocacy group CultureWorks started in October.

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