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Fund-raising efforts by Utah Pageant of the Arts officials have been successful, and a member of its board of directors says ticket sales for this year's performances are approaching the high levels of past years.

The pageant, which reproduces outstanding works of art using set re-creations and live models, began the year with a deficit of $75,000 but has been able to pay off all but $18,000 of that debt with donations from varying sources, including corporations, members of the business community and residents of the American Fork, Pleasant Grove and Lehi areas."It's been fabulous," said Walt Farmer, business manager for the pageant. "They (business people) are all supportive. Everyone contacted realizes the value of the pageant and wants to do what they can to keep it going."

Many businesses with which the pageant had outstanding accounts were willing to donate part of what was owed to the pageant, Farmer said. And, the pageant was able to receive all $20,000 in matching funds that American Fork City had set aside for use on the 1989 production.

Also, the pageant has repaid the Alpine School District for use of the American Fork High School building in past years. "They have been very good to work with, very conscientious and very sincere," said Jack McKelvy, assistant superintendent of business services for the Alpine District.

"It's been a very nice relationship."

McKelvy said the pageant had paid approximately $18,000 in past due rent owed the district, and that any remaining debt would be wiped out through a storage space agreement between American Fork City and the district.

"We have paid all of our expenses for the current year," Farmer said. "The months of June and July (the period during which performances are given) will really put us into the black this year. The pageant has been here 17 years and got into a blue sky area . . . it got out of control," Farmer said. "But the pageant does so much good for the state, the county and the city that it should not be allowed to die on the vine."

Pre-show ticket sales are within 3,000 tickets of reaching the high attendance levels set during the past two years, Farmer said. "The show is ready to go and it's very upbeat," Farmer said. "I think it will surpass anything they've done yet."

The 1989 show will be presented June 12 through July 22 on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Backstage tours of the pageant production are offered before each performance at 7 p.m. Tickets for the pageant are $8 for side seating and $11 for the center section; the tour is $2 (charge cards are accepted). To make reservations or for more information, call 756-3505.



Art works to be presented

Among the 38 works of art presented will be:

- The Lady and the Unicorn - a tapestry created in 1513 as a wedding gift for Claude le Viste of France, last presented by the pageant in 1986.

- The Lady and the Unicorn - a pair of porcelain statues sculpted by American artist George McMonigle in 1987, presented in 1988 by the pageant.

- The Mermaid - a Saturday Evening Post cover created by Norman Rockwell in the 1940s, last presented by the pageant in 1981.

- Christ Blessing the Children - a stained glass window that was installed in St. Marks Cathedral in Salt Lake City in the 1890s, last presented by the pageant in 1982.

- The Renoir Gallery - Dance at Bougival, Young Girl Carrying Basket of Fish and Orange Seller, 1885 paintings by Pierre Auguste Renoir, last presented by the pageant in 1983.

- Salt Cellars - cast bronze table service pieces created by Benvenuto Cellini around 1550, last presented by the pageant in 1983.