Jennifer Kidder, director of Archbold Parks & Recreation, called for changes in the Austin to Archbold concert series at the Monday, Jan. 21 village council meeting.
Kidder said the program spends a lot of money for the number of people who attend.
The program is funded with $5,000 from the village, money from the Archbold Area Foundation, and grant money from the state of Ohio.
“We spent $3,500 for 80 to come to a show. That’s not a good use of anyone’s money,” Kidder said.
She said she appreciated the time and effort Max Nofziger, an Archbold native and A2A founder and promoter, put into the program.
When contacted for comment, Nofziger said, “Let’s just not have Austin to Archbold, and I hereby resign from the Archbold Music Commission.”
Nofziger complained about communication between himself and Kidder.
He said he contacted Kidder in December about what budget was available for the concert series.
He said she told him there was money available, and would get back to him with information in early January.
He said he had not heard from her.
Kidder explained that with more shows, there is only $300 available to advertise a show. She said a $300 budget is only enough to advertise the series locally.
If three shows were combined into one, there would be $900 available for advertising, with the ability to reach more people.
Vaughn Bentz, councilman, asked how involved the Archbold Music Commission was, or whether it was an Austinto Archbold Commission.
Kidder said AMC brought an educational program on bluegrass music to the elementary school, and had subsidized guitar lessons offered by Parks & Recreation.
Kevin Morton, who was reelected council president at the meeting, asked about year-to-year attendance figures.
Kidder said attendance figures weren’t kept the first year.
Bentz asked if fewer shows is the recommendation of AMC. Kidder said no.
Morton said among the discussions he had heard about the Austin-to-Archbold, or A2A, program was that groups booked for the A2A shows did not have a broad appeal.
Kidder said Nofziger is passionate about the musicians from Austin, “and that’s greatly appreciated, but when you’re bringing people from Texas or from other far areas, people around here probably don’t know them as well and they’re not as apt to come out and support (the show) when they’re not sure.”
Donna Dettling, village administrator, agreed, adding Nofziger is enthusiastic about the music he brings, but doesn’t give council options.
She said she was pleased to see Kidder seek direction for the concert series from council, not just from Nofziger.
Morton said he had conversations with Nofziger, telling him if he wants additional funding for more shows, he should look for sponsors.
“If the Music Commission or someone tells him there’s going to be three shows instead or six or whatever, and he wants to bring additional shows– if he can go get the funding for it, where are we with that? Are we going to stand in the way of that?” Morton asked.
Morton said in the years the program has been in existence, it’s been proven to be “a worthy thing to try and do.
“We just need to mold it and shape it a little bit, and once that guidance is given, if the school wanted to do something, or some organization wanted to do something– if he wanted to go get funding for it, I wouldn’t want to put a damper on that.”
Council asked about how much is budgeted for the concert series.
Dettling said money was not set aside in the village general fund because there was no resolution of support.
She said she would like to see a resolution of support, but wants to confirm there was money in the general fund available.