The Fillmore music venue slated to open fall 2011 will offer space for the community to use, but the parameters of eligibility and other details aren't yet finalized.
Local Silver Spring non-profit organizations voiced their opinions and concerns Tuesday at a meeting of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District Advisory Committee.
"It won't be free," said Silver Spring Regional Director Reemberto Rodriguez, who talked about the initial agreement between Montgomery County and the Fillmore/Live Nation with the group.
"It may cost between $3,000 to $5,000, plus the cost for extras," he added.
The extra costs would come from janitorial services, security, setup and breakdown, crowd control and other services. The costs were a major concern for the room of about 30 representatives of Silver Spring organizations who said they already struggle with paying for space in the new Silver Spring Civic Center.
Rodriguez explained that the Fillmore will offer performance space that the civic center isn't optimized for, and that the cost reflects those special services.
Jose Dominguez, a member of the committee and the executive director for Pyramid Atlantic, added that the cost seems to be in line with what he has experienced at the Lincoln Theatre in the District, where government and independent producers rent the building for film screenings.
Greg Lewis, executive director for the Washington Revels and an attendee at the meeting, said that it is not unusual to have to pay for setup and breakdown for such events, but he wanted to be realistic about what those costs would be.
"I suspect that the extra costs may be more than $1,000," Lewis said.
In a full calendar year, the music venue will showcase a variety of events in which 30 are slated for "community" uses and three for "charity" uses. To qualify for use of the space, organizations must fit the description of either being a charity or a community group.
The basic qualification for community or charity uses in the Fillmore will be that the performances or events must be centered on amateur talent and not performers who tour on a regular basis.
The space may also only be available during days or evenings that other performances aren't slated to be at the venue. Attendees were concerned that the days when the space would be available would not be profitable for their organizations.
Maryland Sen. Ida G. Ruben (D-20), who sits on the committee with Dominguez, explained after the meeting that the concerns over community space aren't new.
"This has been going on for years," she said, adding that "they [local organizations] go to hotels and pay a fortune" sometimes for the services.
Gruben said this meeting was just the first step in creating the community use guidelines for the Fillmore.
"You have to wait and see what will happen in a year," she said.
The final draft of the guidelines must be submitted to County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) once a final decision is made.
The arts and entertainment committee meets every first Tuesday of the month.