Philanthropist Richard Rosen, who initially gave financial support for Arts Downtown, said he will not continue to do so without a change in city leadership.

Rosen said in a Thursday email to Franklin County Humane Society President Sam Marcus that he was rescinding a $500,000 pledge to support the building of a new animal shelter for the group, citing his disapproval with the lack of similar monetary pledges by the city and county for the project and other actions taken by city government, like the non-reappointments of Walt Baldwin and Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen to the Frankfort Plant Board. 

When asked if he would continue to support Arts Downtown, an infusion of murals and sculptures, in the future, as more calls for art will be made and some works will be rotated out of display, Rosen said he would not give financial support until there is a “change in City Hall.” He said that he’s encouraged FrankArts to do a campaign to continue funding the project, which includes artist stipends and installation fees. He previously gave $200,000 to the project. 

FrankArts officer Melanie VanHouten said there was never an agreement between FrankArts and Rosen for future funding of the project and the donation was meant for an initial establishment of the project. She hopes that others in Frankfort become involved as other businesses have done so already. 

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