Despite recent internal problems and financial woes, the Pageant of Arts show is expected to be held next year. The City Council voted Tuesday to donate up to $20,000 in matching money for the show's 1989 production, provided the pageant's board complies with a number of conditions to be set by the council.
"There has been a lot of discussion on the city and its role with the Pageant of the Arts," said Mayor R. Kent Evans. "I feel personally that the Pageant of the Arts is an important, integral part of our community and has been since its inception."Evans said the pageant has been placed in a precarious position for various reasons, but praised the effort the pageant board has made recently to reorganize the production.
That reorganization primarily calls for a controller to oversee financial operations of the pageant.
Evans said the pageant is the major cultural event in American Fork and that he would hate to see the city lose it.
Evans recommended the city provide a grant of up to $20,000 to match outside donations raised by the pageant and specified the money must be used for the 1989 production and not to pay off past debts. According to a report submitted recently by the pageant to the council, the pageant has lost $123,361 since 1984.
"I don't feel the city has a responsibility to pay the pageant's past debts, but I do feel responsible to continue this cultural activity in the city," Evans said.
A formal agreement between the city and the pageant will be drafted by the council with the aid of Ray Harding Jr., city attorney. A number of conditions that the pageant must comply with will be specified in this agreement.
Evans said such conditions would include that the pageant complete staffing of its executive board (with volunteers) and abide by its bylaws and that the city's donation to the pageant be placed in an escrow account and released on a voucher system basis requiring verification of how much money the pageant has in its accounts.
Also, Evans said the city is providing storage space for the Alpine School District and has made an agreement with the district to exchange use of its facilities for use of American Fork High School by the pageant.
Evans said the city's proposal will be presented to the pageant board within 20 days.
Pageant President Ron Tiffany said the vote of confidence by the council will indicate to the public that the pageant is a viable, functioning organization.
"That is a stepping stone that shows the city has confidence in us and that we can go ahead," said Tiffany. "Everyone else has been waiting for someone to move and this is the thing that tips it in gear."
Tiffany said the pageant board will meet Nov. 5 to review newly drafted bylaws and to discuss filling empty board positions.