Sculptor accepts $22,888 from TDDA for Nina Simone statue debt

Published 5:09pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) and Frudakis Studio Inc. agreed this week on a settlement in the amount of $22,888.15 for the debt owed on the creation of the Nina Simone statue in downtown Tryon.

TDDA Treasurer Steve Cobb said the organization felt it was important to make good the commitment to the sculptor, despite mixed feelings in the community about the project.

“The project started under TDDA’s umbrella. There are certainly people who felt TDDA should wash its hands of the project, but we decided it was just the right thing to do to pay off as much of the debt as possible,” Cobb said.

TDDA, with assistance from the Always Tryon community group, initiated a campaign in May to raise the $55,000 still owed to sculptor Zenos Frudakis.

Crys Armbrust, along with a steering committee comprised of citizens, set up The Nina Simone Project in 2007. In September 2007, they commissioned Frudakis to create the statue for a total cost of $106,000.

Tryon’s dedication of the statue and plaza was held on what would have been Simone’s 77th birthday, Feb. 21, 2010.

As of May 2013, a total of $51,000 had been paid to the sculptor.

The letter of agreement, signed by Cobb on Oct. 7, states that Frudakis will not “attempt to further collect any additional funds from the Town of Tryon (past or present officials), TDDA and its members, Nina Simone Project members or Always Tryon steering committee members.” 

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