Arts Activists Advocates Manage to Keep .06% in State Budget

by Terri Simons
Floridians’ phone calls and emails managed to keep the State’s arts/cultural support grant budget from being completely zeroed out but we are still more than disappointed with the news out of Tallahassee today.
The Florida Legislature released its proposed state FY 2018-2019 budget this afternoon. Money was allotted for only one of four arts/culture grant programs. $2,650,000 is in Florida’s proposed FY 2018-2019 State Budget to fund the General Program Support category that consists of 489 previously vetted and recommended organizations throughout the state. That’s .06% of what was needed to cover that category’s qualified requests.
ZERO dollars were appropriated for three other arts and cultural grant categories: Culture Builds Florida grants for specific cultural projects, Cultural Facilities, or Cultural Endowment State Matches.
Keep in mind those grants are matching grants. The loss of a state grant or a greatly reduced grant could affect the matching dollars the organization was planning on for 2018-19. 

What does that mean locally?

The following organizations, including the Hillsborough Arts Council, will, if that budget is finalized, receive drastically reduced funding. Because the grants are for general program support, these organizations (especially smaller ones) typically use the funds to keep the lights on. Hillsborough organizations in the General Program Support category are: 

Arts Council of Hillsborough County

Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre, Inc.

Children’s Museum of Tampa, Inc.

Choral Masterworks Festival, Inc. 

Firehouse Cultural Center, Inc.

Florida Dance Association, Inc.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

FloriMezzo, Inc.

Friends of Carrollwood Cultural Center, Inc.

Gasparilla Music Foundation, Inc.

Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc.

Museum of Science & Industry, Inc.

New Tampa Players

Spanish Lyric Theatre, Inc.

Speak Up Tampa Bay Public Access Television, Inc. (Tampa Bay Community Network)

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Inc./ Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Tampa Educational Cable Consortium, Inc. (Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network)

Tampa Museum of Art, Inc.

Tampa, Florida, Chapter No. 1 of S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., Inc. (Heralds of Harmony)

The Florida Aquarium, Inc.

The Jobsite Theater, Inc.

The Tampa Bay History Center, Inc.

The Tampa Film Institute, Inc.

The Tampa Theatre, Inc.

The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum

The University of Tampa, Inc. / Henry B. Plant Museum

VSA Florida, Inc.

Local organizations (an one individual artist) that are in one of the three categories getting ZERO dollars are:

The Tampa Bay History Center, Inc.

Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc.

Arts for Health Florida, Inc.

Friends of the Festival, Inc. (TIGLFF)

Kid’s Community College Elementary Charter School Southeast County, Inc.

Kym O’Donnell

Life Enrichment Center, Inc.

Moving Current, Inc.

Tempus Projects, Inc.

The Centre for Women, Inc.

USF Research Foundation Inc.-Classical WSMR Public Radio Live Studio Broadcast Performance Series

The Florida Legislature has to wait 72 hours before they can vote on the budget. After they vote on this budget, it goes to the Governor for his review, possible vetoes, and approval before it becomes final. These websites provide contact information for your state congress people in Tallahassee:
Florida House of Representatives
Florida Senate
Florida Governor Rick Scott (budget has gone to him)

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