Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Woodstock Museum Will Open Despite Cuts"

source - ap

BETHEL, N.Y. - A museum dedicated to Woodstock will rock on even though the federal government pulled $1 million in funding for the memorial to the famous hippie fest.

Officially, the Woodstock museum is known as the Museum at Bethel Woods, and is due to open next year. Bethel is the upstate New York town where organizers eventually put on the three-day Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.

"Our plans haven't changed," said Ellyn Solis, spokeswoman for the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which is developing the museum as the newest part of its 2,000-acre performing arts venue.

Last week, in a mostly party-line 52-42 vote, lawmakers voted to strip the $1 million earmark sought by New York Sens. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, both Democrats. Bethel Woods has received $15 million in state funding.

This week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tried to capitalize on the brouhaha over the earmark, running a TV ad that mocks fellow presidential candidate Clinton for the spending proposal. The ads juxtapose psychedelic images with those of McCain strapped to a bed as a POW in Vietnam. McCain, a Navy pilot, was shot down in 1967 and spent 5 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison.

The Woodstock festival was billed as "three days of peace and love," and drew about 500,000 people to the natural amphitheater on Max Yasgur's farm. Aside from the drugs, mud and rain, there were career-defining performances by Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Janice Joplin and myriad others.

The museum is being built on top of the hill near where the stage was located. Thousands of people visit the site each year, where a stone monument is currently the only marker.

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