County establishes arts loan programWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fostering the local arts scene may be one way to keep young people in Toledo, according to Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop.
On June 22, Konop’s office sponsored an arts luncheon/exhibit opening to help launch the newly founded Art Assist Program. The program, which offers 1 percent interest rate loans of $500 to $2,500 to Lucas County residents wishing to purchase pieces of artwork, has been in the works since Konop took office earlier this year. The program is facilitated by Key Bank and is overseen by its Regional Manager Jeff Clair.
“The bottom line is that the arts community has had a bad couple of decades, both locally and on a larger level. We’re hoping that programs such as Art Assist will help make Toledo a magnet, not only in the Midwest, but also in the national arts economy. Our aim is to grow a larger local economy and create jobs,” Konop said.
The exhibit highlighted a number of prominent local artists, such as Nate Masternak, Yusuf Lateef, Jerry Gray, Megan Bremer, Terry A. Burton, Wade Harrison, Zach Murphy, Angelo Bullano and Amy Bullano. Burton helped organize the artwork with the Bullano’s Plastik Gallery and Gray’s Quest for Fire Studios.
Konop got the idea for Art Assist after researching a similar program, which had been successful in Manchester, England.
“I’m enthusiastic anytime I can use the county’s resources to move our community forward,” said Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz.
The county placed a CD valued at $250,000 in an account with Key Bank at 1 percent, as a way of getting the business relationship started. The loan money will be available at the Westgate FSC branch in Waterville, as well as the branch located on Secor and Central. The term for all Art Assist loans will be one year with a $25,000 cap.
The bank has been provided with a list of Lucas County-based galleries, compiled by the Commissioner’s office, where the artwork may purchased. Local arts-based businesses are free to inquire as to whether they are on the gallery list.
“The program is basically ready to go today,” Konop said.
The Art Assist exhibit will be on display in the Government Center through July 13.
For further information on the Art Assist loan program, call (419) 213-2155.