The 2021 Legislative session officially ended on April 30, and we have good news to share about the Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) grants! At the last minute, the appropriation committees raised the total funding for two of the four cultural grant programs to just over $26.7 million. This equates to about half (50%) of the funding request in the Culture and Museum Grant category – providing critical operating dollars for many of the cultural organizations in Palm Beach County, and full funding (100%) of the Culture Builds Florida Grants – designed for small organizations with specific programs or projects, including four of our local orgs. See the breakdown below:
- Culture and Museum Grants: $23,210,540 (50%)
- Culture Builds Florida Grants: $3,524,096 (100%)
- Cultural Facilities Grants: $0
- Cultural Endowments: $0
This is still lower than the total request of $67.8 million across the state, but it is double the amount of last year’s total funding of $13.6 million. This result shows that the arts are important, and this success is due, in part, because of the advocacy work done by our friends and colleagues around the state.
In case you missed it: During the legislative session, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) proposed an amendment to the state budget proposing to utilize non-recurring Federal relief funds to fully fund the DCA grant program. A bold and inspiring move that you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVCAckAuRjw. Although the amendment did not pass, 7 of our 9 Palm Beach County delegates in the House voted in favor of the amendment, including Rep. Mike Caruso, proving that the arts are a bipartisan issue. We are grateful to Rep. Smith and his leadership. He was on a statewide call with the Florida Cultural Alliance two weeks ago, and pledged to help us continue to advocate for arts funding and to explore a way to create a designated funding source so that we don’t have to start from zero every year.
What’s next: Please help us thank our Palm Beach County delegation in the House and Senate for their support during this legislative session. Tell them how you plan to use your grant funding (if you will be receiving a DCA grant) and invite them to visit your organization for a tour. Here is the contact list for your reference: https://discover.pbcgov.org/legislativeaffairs/Legislative_Delegation/Delegation-Roster.pdf
You may also wish to thank the Conference Chairs:
- House Appropriations Chair: Trumbull, Jay [R] – Dist 6:part of Bay
- Senate Appropriations Chair: Kelli Stargel (R) – Dist 22: Lake, Polk
- Subcommittee Chairs:
- House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee Chair: Williamson, Jayer [R] Dist 3:Parts of Okaloosa, Santa Rosa
- Senate Appropriations Transportation, Tourism, & Economic Development Chair: Senator George B. Gainer (R) Dist 2: Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Walton, Washington
And a special thank you to: