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Legislature Awards 2019 Arts and Culture Arts and Culture Organization Development Grants

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Legislature Awards 2019 Arts and Culture Arts and Culture Organization Development Grants

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Legislature, with one dissent, awarded 2019 Arts and Culture Organization Development Grants to ten local organizations, in the second year of two-year funding approved last spring  as part of the Tompkins County Tourism Program, funded through County hotel room occupancy tax.  In recognition of the need for additional funding for the ACOD grant program (as requested by the Community Arts Partnership, which helps oversee the ACOD program), the Strategic Tourism Planning Board approved an approximately $20,000 increase in the 2019 program budget.   Four of the organizations (The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Hangar Theatre, The History Center, and Paleontological Research Institution) have received increased awards, which returns the level of support to close to the 2015 level. Funding for program administration through CAP was also increased.  Legislator Dan Klein, who had raised the issue of decreased ACOD funding last year, again objected, and voted no, maintaining that the level of support remains insufficient, with five of the organizations still below the 2015 level, and one eliminated, while hotel tax revenue has increased by 24%.

The Legislature also approved 2019 payments of multi-year Tourism Capital Grants;  $10,000 to Friends of Stewart Park (Phase 3 Building Improvements) and $30,000 to The History Center (for the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.)  Legislator Mike Sigler abstained in both votes, due to potential professional conflict of interest concerns.