The Tri-County Music Guild in south-central Utah has stopped sponsoring musical programs, but a new arts alliance may take up the slack by sponsoring music and other arts programs.

Lack of support was the reason for discontinuing the guild, according to Gaia Christensen, the last president of the organization. She said community interest has dwindled, evidenced by low attendance at The Barbershoppers and the Utah Symphony. The Symphony performed for only about half as many people at its concert in 1990 as in previous concerts.The guild had $1,942 in its account and has donated the money to the new Sevier County Arts Alliance. Christensen said she hoped there could be new growth in the arts through the alliance.

The Arts Alliance is in its development stage and is open to suggestions, said Pam Williams, acting president who has been instrumental in getting the alliance under way. It will serve as an "umbrella" organization, sponsoring music, visual arts and theater.

Sevier County Commission Chairman Merlin Ashman said the alliance will allow additional grant applications and funding possibilities from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The alliance is in need of a professional art director, Williams said. "We need one person who is professional and could have the relationship with the state office and all the things that we need." The group will present its need for an organization director through a proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Williams said there is a need for better communication among those interested in the arts, emphasizing "this is our cultural legacy."

Members of the alliance also want to elect a "cultural congress" until the organization is further developed. Such a congress would identify the county's cultural assets and liabilities in order to set cultural priorities.