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Arts & Science Council retrenches

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Lee Keesler

Lee Keesler

On the heels of an annual fund drive that fell 37 percent short of its $11.2 million goal, the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte has announced big cuts in staff and benefits, and says big cuts in funds it distributes are likely.

The group says will it will cut eight jobs, or roughly 31 percent of its workforce, and outsource or suspend some activities.

It also will ask existing staff to take two-week furloughs, will reduce its   contribution to its employees’ 401(k) plan, and will require employees to pay for a bigger share of
the cost of its health-care benefits plan.

Dollars available for funds the Arts & Science Council will distribute beginning in July will be “substantially reduced from the current year in direct proportion to the overall loss in revenue,” the group says in a statement.

Because most of its grants are competitive, the council says, “some organizations will be less affected than others.”

Lee Keesler, president and CEO, says in a statement that the Arts & Science Council is a “steward of public and private community resources, and exists to serve the community.”

So if “resources entrusted to use by the community decline,” he says, then the council “must re-size its organization in order to maximize dollars being invested back into the community.”

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