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Friday, December 6, 2019

News

Blaffer and band program ask SFAC for additional funding


Student fee-funded organizations presented in front of the Student Fee Advisory Committee for the last day of open meetings Monday in the Student Government Association Senate Chamber.

The Blaffer Art Museum and the band program each presented to SFAC and both requested additional funding.

Blaffer requested to double their $21,500 budget with a base augmentation of $25,000. The augmentation would be used to fund the museum’s Innovation Series, an annual cross-disciplinary lecture series that they are hoping to expand next year.

According to Blaffer’s justification report, “over a three year period, Blaffer developed an annual cross-disciplinary lecture series which was attended by nearly 4,000 students, faculty, and staff. In its third year, the series had become so successful that a single lecture attracted nearly 1,000 students.”

Given the results of this lecture, the museum decided to expand the series and set up a committee to aid in program development. As told in the justification report, the outcome was a 10-part series of lectures presentations and performances in spring 2015.

The series represented seven colleges, nine faculty, seven current and former UH students, four internationally recognized scientists and an academy awarding-winning author.

The museum said the base augmentation that is being requested was based on the actual cost to produce the first installment of the series.

“We are pleased to see this program take root and grow in scope and reach, and it appears we are just scratching the surface of the potential of this student focused initiative for which Blaffer is uniquely situated,” the report said.

The band program followed Blaffer, asking for a one-time request of $149,000 on top of their base budget of $286,400.

The program is hoping to use the one-time request monies to fund transportation services for marching band students and to buy new instruments. According to the program’s justification report, $75,000 would be used for additional travel-related expenses. The remaining $74,000 would be used to buy five flutes, five clarinets, six trumpets, six trombones and six sousaphones.

According to the program’s justification report, an increase in students wanting to take part in band activities has made providing enough instruments a problem.

“These instruments have been an extremely important recruitment point for our program and improved the appearance and sound of the Spirit of Houston in a very positive manner,” the report stated. “It is our goal to provide every member of the program with a durable, serviceable, quality instrument.”

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