Friday, April 13, 2012

SSTCi Executive Director Lisa Martin Provides Testimony to County Council at Budget Hearings

Testimony of
Lisa Martin, Executive Director
Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.
On the Montgomery County Executive’s
Proposed FY13 Operating Budget
April 12, 2012

Council President Berliner and Members of the Montgomery County Council, Good Evening.

My name is Lisa Martin. I am the Executive Director of the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc., a community based non-profit organization in Silver Spring, which provides innovative arts, entertainment and educational programming for the community in the Silver Spring Civic Building and on Veterans Plaza.

On behalf of the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this evening.

The mission of Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. is to provide a vibrant, inclusive and engaging community gathering place that enriches the lives of residents of the Greater Silver Spring area. Embracing the racial and cultural diversity of the region, the organization seeks to educate, entertain, inspire and involve people while encouraging and supporting the building of a creative, compassionate and caring community.

The Silver Spring Town Center Inc. (SSTCi) is the result of a long process of community involvement and engagement to support the development of downtown Silver Spring. Established in 2004, SSTCi was created to infuse community spirit and involvement in the new Silver Spring Civic Building and on Veterans Plaza.

And we are pleased to report that this engagement has been very successful and very well received by our neighbors, our visitors, our partners in the County Government, and our friends throughout the business community.

SSTCi is proud to be part of the rich tapestry of cultural diversity in Silver Spring, and we have had the honor to present scores of artistic performances of music, dance, spoken word and other creative forms of expression to the County’s residents and visitors throughout the year.

I know that some of you have enjoyed many of our programs and activities—including our popular Silver Spring Blues Festival, our Tribute to America’s Veterans Concert, our Plaza Performances on the Veterans Plaza, our Evening with the Stars, as well as our monthly Arts Salon and the Jefferson Café, a collaboration with the Paul Peck Institute at Montgomery College.

In his proposed FY13 Recommended Budget, County Executive Leggett has included modest grant funds for SSTCi and its community-based programming. With these funds, we could leverage private sector resources, and continue to support programs for youth and people of all ages, as well as engage the diverse communities in our area and to showcase the array of artistic talent of Montgomery County residents.

We hope the County Council will agree that SSTCi deserves the support the County Executive has recommended for the FY13 Budget, and, in doing so, support our good works in this vibrant, exciting and important part of Montgomery County.

Our website is

Thank you very much, and we hope to see you in our “community living room” in Downtown Silver Spring!

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