$48,000 A-Tax funds awarded

BLYTHEWOOD – Council approved the Accommodations Tax (A-Tax) Committee’s recommendations for a total of $48,000 for four events to be held in the Town in March and April. Bravo Blythewood requested three of the awards.

Of the $48,000 awards, $20,000 went to The University of South Carolina for two-day rental of two video boards ($10,000 each) for the Southeast Conference Equestrian Championships to be held at One-Wood Farm in Blythewood on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31.

Martha Jones, president of Bravo Blythewood, requested the funds for the University. She said the two giant video boards would be situated in the two main arenas to show what is happening in the other arena(s). The participating teams, she said, will include USC, Texas A&M University, University of Georgia and Auburn University with more than 120 athletes and their families representing over 35 states, Canada and the Bahamas.

Jones said 3,000 people are expected to attend over the two-day period.

Theatre Blythewood

Council also awarded $4,000 toward theater production costs of $18,000 to establish Theatre Blythewood, a small professional theater that Jones said will “allow for using community people at all theatrical levels as well as professional performers.” Theatre Blythewood will operate under the Bravo Blythewood umbrella.

Jones said the remaining $14,000 of revenue to cover the $18,000 production costs will be provided through ticket sales ($4,900) and sponsorships ($9,100).

The launching of Theatre Blythewood will begin April 12 – 22 with the production of seven performances of ‘Collected Stories,’ written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies and performed at Westwood High School.

A second production of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ is set for April 28 and will be produced in conjunction with Freeway Music. Jones said that production may possibly be held in the Palmetto Citizens Amphitheatre.

Jones said the production budget for ‘Collected Stories’ is $14,641 and the production budget for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ is $3,360 for a total cost of $17,801.

Jones said, she did not know at this point how much of the production expenses for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ would be contributed by Freeway Music.

“We expect there will be other production costs besides the $3,360, so we would be talking to Freeway Music about those expenses,” Jones told The Voice.

Spring Market

Council also approved $4,000 for the Blythewood Artist Guild’s Spring Market to be held Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 next door to the IGA. Jones said she expects 500 to 1,000 attendees during the two-day event. Jones said $3,000 of the award will go to advertising and the remainder for electricity, cleaning supplies, paper goods, pipe and drape and business license.

Diamond Invitational Tournament

Council also unanimously approved $20,000 to fund the lion’s share of $30,500 that was listed as the ‘total project cost’ for the annual South Carolina Diamond Invitational baseball tournament to be held this spring at Blythewood High School. A breakout of the SCDI’s budget as submitted to the A-Tax committee lists revenues (ticket sales, A-Tax funding, sponsorships and other) at $40,000 and expenditures at $36,000. Steve Hasterock, speaking on behalf of the SCDI’s primary contact person, Rick Lucas, who was not present, said approximately 4,500 people are expected to attend the tournament and that 90 percent of them will be tourists.