SCERA seeks financial help

Group changes structure so it can apply for grants

By Leigh Dethman, Deseret Morning News
Deseret News, 25 November 2003

Article Summary:

SCERA, the Sharon Cultural Education Recreational Association, was founded in 1933 to serve the needs of the Sharon Stake of the LDS Church in Orem.  SCERA's boundaries were the same as those for the Sharon Stake and SCERA board members were elected by residents of the individual wards of the stake.

The SCERA has struggled financially since the construction of several multiplexes led to the loss of SCERA's exclusive right to show Disney films.

Members of the SCERA voted on Monday to change the SCERA organizational structure so it can seek funds from the federal government and arts groups across the country.  The SCERA's elected board of directors has been replaced with an appointed board of trustees.   Membership and voting privileges for residents living within the old Sharon Stake boundaries was eliminated and all power was turned over to the board of trustees.

Some of the 70 residents who attended the meeting felt they were being disenfranchised and that the change was a hostile takeover, but Joyce Johnson, SCERA board president, said that the only way SCERA can survive is to change its status and go after public and private funding.

"If things don't change, this discussion could be null and void because we might not be here for another year," Johnson said.

SCERA has hired an intern who will write grants. SCERA receives $32,000 a year from Orem to serve as the city's cultural arm. The SCERA board and will now seek up to $250,000 a year from the city.