Arts Council's 2013 grants down 26 percent

Posted Friday, Feb. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County made $653,968 in grants for 2013, down 26 percent from last year and reflecting the city's cut in funding to the organization, the council reported Friday.

Last year's grant total was $890,320. There were 46 recipients in both years, meaning the average grant declined.

The council hopes to restore grants to last year's levels, depending on the development of other sources of revenue and the results of a promised mid-year city budget review, said Daniel Stone, director of grants for the nonprofit.

In cutting the arts council's funding for the 2013 fiscal year, City Council members said they would review the budget at midyear to determine whether more money was available.

"They told us we should approach them in March, and we intend to do that," said Jody Ulich, arts council president.

Ulich reiterated the council's desire to receive funding from the city's hotel occupancy tax, rather than from the general fund, an idea being studied by an arts funding task force appointed last fall by Mayor Betsy Price.

Money in the city's culture and tourism fund, funded in part by the hotel tax, is targeted for capital improvements at Fort Worth's Will Rogers Memorial Center and Fort Worth Convention Center.

But Ulich said there was room in the fund for arts grants, which she argues meet the culture and tourism fund's requirements of generating hotel stays. City administrators also have said the hotel tax is a viable revenue source for arts grants.

"It's a very steady and growing fund," Ulich said.

The arts council's largest grant for 2013 was $109,732 to the Fort Worth Symphony for general operations, down from $149,000 last year.

The average general operations grant was $17,152. The average grant for general projects was $1,167. And the average grant for neighborhood arts programs was $6,583.

The arts council received 72 applications.

Most had received grants last year, but three new applicants were Fort Worth Contemporary Music Fund, Hall Ensemble and Trumpets4Kids.

Six applicants got more money this year based on these criteria: financial situation, numbers of employees and performances, reach, budget and narrative.

The six were:

SiNaCa Studios-School of Glass, $5,128, up from $3,000.

Artes de la Rosa, $1,732, up from $1,200.

Hip Pocket Theatre, $8,043, up from $5,751.

Kids Who Care, $2,215, up from $1,840.06.

Stage West Theatre, $5,216, up from $4,632.

Texas Winds Musical Outreach, $4,554, up from $2,871.07.

The City Council cut $266,000 from the arts council's 2013 grants budget, leaving $799,000. Of that, $200,000 goes to operation of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, and $50,000 to Artes de la Rosa for operation of the Rose Marine Theater on the North Side.

Sixty-three percent of arts council's grants funding comes from the city, Stone said. Other sources have been stable but can't cover the city cuts, he said.

Scott Nishimura,

817-390-7808

Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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