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County gives $400,000 to new folk music center

The Florida Folk Music and Culture Center _ a museum being created at Heritage Village to preserve the legacy of folk musician Will McLean and other folk troubadours _ got a boost this week from the Pinellas County Commission. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to provide $400,000 for the project. That leaves $200,000 of the center's cost to be covered by a state cultural facilities grant. Construction is expected to start in October 2003, with an opening anticipated in the summer of 2004. The center is planned to include a 4,000-square-foot building constructed in the style of a Cracker house, with permanent and changing exhibits and space for youth programs and workshops. It also will have a porch with a built-in sound system. The porch is expected to face a field that could accommodate about 500 people for folk concerts, long a mainstay of Heritage Village's programs. "It will be great to have a facility in which we can expand those kinds of offerings for the public," said Heritage Village director Jan Luth.

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