The Delaware County Cultural Arts Center, better known as the Arts Castle, in recent years has benefited from a sizeable grant received in 2006. Now, however, that money's gone, costs have increased and the nonprofit is looking for revenue.

The Delaware County Cultural Arts Center, better known as the Arts Castle, in recent years has benefited from a sizeable grant received in 2006. Now, however, that money's gone, costs have increased and the nonprofit is looking for revenue.

New executive director Nancy Colley, who came to the Arts Castle March 28, said without funding, the Arts Castle's doors will close.

Colley hopes the community can help solve the problem. "We need to share in the cost of running this place," Colley said.

Colley said the 2006 grant of about $300,000, helped the Arts Castle, 190 W. Winter St., "bridge the gap between what was earned through classes and through donations and the extra operational dollars that were required."

She said she can't identify the benefactor who made the grant.

The Arts Castle receives very little public funding, she said: less than $5,000 from the Ohio Arts Council, an amount that is evaluated yearly.

"As the state's budget has been cut, so have the dollars we've received," Colley said. The Arts Castle's income from the state-funded OAC has fallen by more than half.

Corporate gifts also have dwindled or in many cases been cut completely, she said, as businesses have had to downsize and cut expenditures.

"General economic conditions have made it somewhat difficult for families and the general public to give, as many have in the past," she said.

The Arts Castle has been getting some individual donations since Colley described its plight at a recent Delaware County commissioners' meeting. "That has been tremendously helpful to us. ... We hope that the community will come forward."

Colley said the Arts Castle has reduced employees and their working hours, along with supplies and building maintenance.

She said when she can propose a specific amount, she plans to ask the commissioners for money to operate in the interim. She also plans to apply for grants.

Colley said it takes about $400,000 a year to run the facility. This money goes toward teacher costs, heating and lighting, supplies and staff. The facility has three full-time and two part-time employees. Several hundred volunteers also work in various capacities with varying hours.

Colley said funding comes primarily from several citizens who have been providing donations and volunteering at the Arts Castle since its start. Local businesses also contribute. Member fees are another source of revenue. A donation of at least $40 entitles one person to member benefits. A donation of $50 or more entitles a household to member benefits. The facility also is rented out occasionally.

The Arts Castle, which started holding classes in the summer of 1989, offers 80 classes per quarter.

"If the class can be considered part of 'cultural arts,' then we will consider offering it," Colley said. On average, 575 register each quarter.

Visual arts classes such as drawing, painting, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry-making and photography are offered, as well as performing arts classes including theater, music and dance. Cultural activities include Japanese flower arranging, yoga, a Mother's Day tea and wine tasting. Class schedules vary from quarter to quarter.

Costs vary per class. The least expensive class this quarter is a 90-minute adult meditation workshop. It's $13 for non-members.

The most expensive class this quarter is advanced ceramicists, which takes place two and a half hours once a week for seven weeks with all materials included. It runs $114 for non-members.

An Arts Castle member typically saves between $3 and $10 on classes.