The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County said it made $653,968 in grants to organizations for 2013, down 26.5 percent from last year and reflecting a similiar cut in the organization’s funding from the city of Fort Worth.
Grants were off from last year's $890,320, the Arts Council said. Click here for a complete list of the Arts Council's 2013 grant recipients.
The council made grants to 46 recipients in both years, meaning the average grant declined this year. Daniel Stone, the director of grants for the nonprofit, said the council hopes to restore grants to last year’s levels, depending on the development of other sources and the results of a promised mid-year city budget review.
The City Council, in paring arts grant funding for the 2013 fiscal year, said it would conduct a mid-year review to determine whether any money was available.
Ulich re-iterated the arts community’s desire to be funded by the city’s revenue from the hotel occupancy tax, rather than from the general fund, an idea being studied closely 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 says there’s room in the fund for arts grants, which she argues meet the culture and tourism fund’s requirements of generating hotel stays. City staff members 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 for general operations to the Fort Worth Symphony, down from last year’s $149,000 grant to the organization.
Average general operations grant was $17,152. Average grant for general projects was $1,167. Average grant for neighborhood arts programs was $6,583.
The Arts Council received 72 applications. Virtually all recipients received grants last year. Three new applicants were awarded grants this year: Fort Worth.Contemporary Music Fund, Hall Ensemble, and Trumpets4Kids.
Six applicants received increases in their grants from last year, based on scoring criteria: financial situation, numbers of employees and performances, reach, budget, and narrative.
Those were: SiNaCa Studios-School of Glass, whose grant rose to $5,128 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 the money the Arts Council gives for grants funding comes from the city, Stone said. Other sources have been stable, but haven’t kept up with the city cuts, he said.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter
Photos: Kids Who Care and Stage West, two nonprofits whose 2013 grants increased.