The New Albany Arts Council will dissolve, according to a March 9 email from Ruth Bank, who handles marketing for the organization.

The board of directors voted unanimously to dissolve the nonprofit organization because of "financial challenges," Bank's email said.

"The board is disappointed to have to close the arts council but is optimistic that the various performance groups will organize and continue on their own, and/or develop partnerships with area organizations to bring new opportunities to the New Albany community," the email said.

The New Albany Arts Council received its funding from grants, donations and ticket sales, and over the years some funding had declined, said board member Heather Melick.

A staff person also was required to assist with operations because board-member turnover made it difficult to replace volunteer time, Melick said. That staff hire was a "significant added expense," she said.

The arts council organized local programs for 25 years and oversaw such groups as the New Albany Chorus, New Albany Winds, Rose Run Players junior-musical performers and the Center Stage Singers.

Over the years, some of the programs lost money or broke even, Melick said. The largest program was the junior musical performed at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts each summer, she said.

"Our most urgent mission was to keep the program going and not let the kids and the community down," Melick said.

A group of parents met recently with a professional production company to ask them to take over this summer's production, she said.

Details are being finalized, she said.

Groups, like New Albany Winds and New Albany Chorus, are looking to operate as individual entities.

"The arts in New Albany continue to be a major focus," Melick said. "Our organization hopes to one day reorganize, refocus and repackage our efforts, and are optimistic that the individual groups will continue to thrive and grow as New Albany grows."