Sonoma County Arts Council broke, lays off staff

The group that organizes the popular ARTrails program underway this weekend has run out of money and has laid off its four-person staff.

The Arts Council of Sonoma County, a nonprofit founded in 1984 to represent the county's art community, was forced to take the drastic step this week after private grant funds dried up, said board chairman and author Tom Lombardo.

"Our staff members are incredible people who are dedicated to the arts," Lombardo said. "We put off the denouement as long as we possibly could."

Four board members have resigned and the group is now in debt, though Lombardo declined to say how much.

"We need a CPA to help us understand the books before we can comment on them with integrity," Lombardo said.

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