VFH sliced, but survives state budget
"We were never not going to survive," says VFH president Rob Vaughan, "but we were going to be impoverished."
The Charlottesville-based organization did not come out of the budget process unscathed, losing $290,000 on top of $550,000 that had already been cut from its current $3.8-million budget. And Vaughan credits the Foundation's supporters for lobbying legislators.
"I was really delighted with the number of people who said they called, and they called others beyond their own legislators," says Vaughan, noting that he doesn't believe that delegates specifically targeted the Foundation for cuts.
"I don't think it was personal," he says. "They were just trying to sweep through the budget and find anything they could cut. We were in that anything."
For the Foundation, the $300K cut, says Vaughan, is still a big chunk out of its own budget, which is down $1 million from a few years ago.
And with a target audience of 20,000 who will be attending the Virginia Festival of the Book March 17-21, "I'm hoping we can inspire the community to support the Book Festival," says Vaughan, "more strongly than in the past."