Tompkins County
New York

Resolution
2017-56

Award of 2017 Arts and Culture Organizational Development Grants

Information

Department:Strategic Tourism Planning BoardSponsors:
Category:Tourism

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and the Tompkins County Legislature recognize that the local arts and cultural community is a valuable and unique asset, and that a need exists to harness the power of the arts to grow tourism, and that strategic management and stabilization of these assets will better serve visitors through well-planned marketing efforts, and

 

WHEREAS, the County contracts with CAP to develop and implement a plan for financial and operational development and capacity building of arts and cultural entities, and

 

WHEREAS, the arts and cultural community could better position itself in the marketplace to attract more visitors to and enhance visitors’ stay in Tompkins County, thus generating more dollars into the local economy, and

 

WHEREAS since 2007, the Strategic Tourism Planning Board has recommended allowing tourism grant programs to have the previous year’s allocated but unspent funding reallocated to the next year’s budget, and

 

WHEREAS, at the end of 2016 a balance of $5,173 was considered allocated but unspent within the Arts and Culture Organizational Development Grant Program, and

 

WHEREAS, pending a recommended budget adjustment, funding exists within the Room Occupancy Tax-funded Tompkins County Tourism Program budget for the Arts and Culture Organizational Development Program, and

 

WHEREAS, CAP has requested and reviewed annual reports for recommendation to the Tompkins County Legislature through the Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee with the advice of the Strategic Tourism Planning Board, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee, That the following Arts and Culture Organizational Development Grants be awarded in 2017:

 

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Cayuga Chamber Orchestra

$18,700

$21,373

$21,800

$22,236

$27,000

$27,000

$27,000

20,000

20,000

Cinemapolis

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$13,500

$13,500

CSMA

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$7,000

$7,000

Cayuga Nature Center

$28,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000

$0*

$0*

$0*

$0*

$0*

Hangar Theatre

$24,000

$22,600

$23,052

$23,513

$27,000

$27,000

$27,000

$24,500

$24,500

History Center

$23,200

$21,458

$21,887

$22,325

$27,000

$27,000

$27,000

$22,000

$22,000

Ithaca Shakespeare

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$5,000

$5,000

Kitchen Theatre

$22,400

$21,264

$21,689

$22,123

$27,000

$23,000

$27,000

$30,000

$30,000

PRI (Museum of the Earth & Cayuga Nature Center

$18,000

$15,000

$15,300

$15,606

$40,000*

$40,000*

$40,000*

$30,000*

$30,000*

Sciencenter

$10,000

$16,000

$16,320

$16,646

$17,000

$17,000

$17,000

$20,000

$20,000

State Theatre

$16,000

$17,000

$22,850

$23,307

$23,773

$27,000

$27,000

$25,000

$25,000

Grant Totals

$160,300

$159,695

$167,898

$170,756

$188,773

$188,000

$192,000

$197,000

$197,000

 

RESOLVED, further, That CAP is paid an amount up to $10,200 for administrative evaluation and oversight services,

 

RESOLVED, further, That an agreement with Rent-a-CFO, LLC, of Ithaca, New York, is authorized in an amount not to exceed $4,000 to conduct financial and fiscal progress reviews of grant recipient organizations to determine their current operational status and their ability to fulfill the goals of the Arts and Culture Organizational Development Program of the Tompkins County Tourism Program,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator or his designee be and hereby is authorized to sign any agreements with the recipients and CAP pertaining to this program,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Arts and Culture Organizational Development Grant Program budget for 2017 is increased by $5,173 bringing the total modified 2017 budget for this program from $213,150 to $218,323:

 

              6475.54619 Arts and Cultural Organizational Development               $5,173

              6475.41113 Room Tax                                                                                    $5,173

 

SEQR ACTION: TYPE II-20

 

Explanation: *In 2013, for the first time, PRI applied jointly under a Mergers/Shared Services category. The recommended award to PRI of $30,000 in 2016 is a joint award to support both the Cayuga Nature Center and the Museum of the Earth.

 

 

Meeting History

Mar 13, 2017 4:00 PM  Budget, Capital and Personnel Committee Regular Meeting

Mr. Klein said he would like to restore funding to the 2015 levels for those programs that funding had been cut for a total of $26,500. Mrs. McBean-Clairborne questioned why some programs received cuts. Mr. Klein said there were new organizations added to the mix but the total amount distributed did not change; therefore, some received less than they had previously received. When asked if Mr. Klein’s proposed total allocation would go above the amount the Legislature had approved for arts and cultural organizations Mr. Klein responded that it would.

Mr. Marx said traditionally the Legislature relies on the Strategic Tourism Planning Board to allocate funds for the different elements of the tourism program and adding money to this would require taking away from something else. Mr. Klein disagreed and said it is not known how much will come into the hotel coffers and those are estimates that can be changed at any time. Mr. Morey said the Strategic Tourism Planning Board has gone through the grant applications and made the recommendation based on planning for the future.

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne said she is a big supporter of the arts; however, the Legislature asked the Strategic Tourism Planning Board to do due diligence and go through the applications and provide a recommendation. Without going through that process she cannot support adding more funding. She asked if more explanation is available on why lower levels of funding have been recommended. She doesn't want to hold up a vote on this and impact the organizations.

Mr. Marx said a request could be made to the Strategic Tourism Planning Board to see if they can find additional funding; however, a decision was made several years ago to look at this program and it was originally set up to be temporary to help organizations get on their feet and move forward but it was decided there was benefit to providing ongoing funding even after they completed that stabilization process. It was also recognized that there might be other organizations in the community worthy of that support and that would result in some getting more and some getting less funding. The idea of providing ongoing support while adding organizations would require making changes in funding allocations.

Mr. Sigler said the budget was adopted in November and these numbers were part of that budget. He questioned why this action is being requested now when there has not been an extraordinary event. Mr. Klein said there has not been an extraordinary event; this is simply the time of year when this action is taken. He said it is not realistic to expect arts organizations to survive on their own.

Mr. Dennis noted there were no cuts from 2016. He said the troubling part is that there is an experienced group of volunteers who have done this work and he doesn't want to interject the Legislature into that work although he appreciates the intent behind Mr. Klein's suggestion. Mr. Klein said the Strategic Tourism Planning Board is an advisory committee to the Legislature that recommends what the funding levels should be and it is appropriate for the Legislature to advise on the guidelines and what it would like to see. He said there is difficulty for these organizations in speaking up and there is a certain fear about raising concerns about the fairness of the process when an organization is already receiving some funding.

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne suggested that if the Committee would like to suggest goals for future grant cycles to the Strategic Tourism Planning Board she would consider that but she doesn't feel comfortable doing that now.

Mr. Klein asked if the Committee would consider voting in favor of this resolution and to also give a message to the Strategic Tourism Planning Board that there is interest in boosting funds for 2017. Mr. Dennis said he cannot support taking this action for 2017.

Mr. Spence said some organizations were given more and some less and although some were not happy, in every grant they administer there is more need than can be satisfied. There is a need for more money; however, the Community Arts Partnership was given a budget and they acted accordingly. He has talked to each of the organizations individually and told them what to expect.

Mr. Marx suggested if this discussion is to move forward the discussion should include the rippling effects of decisions and noted the County has a Strategic Tourism Plan. Mr. Klein did not wish to proceed with an amendment.

Mr. Dennis said contact can be made with the appropriate person to discuss the Strategic Tourism Planning Board budget at a future meeting.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Daniel Klein, Member
SECONDER:Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Member
AYES:James Dennis, Michael Sigler, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Glenn Morey, Daniel Klein
Mar 21, 2017 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Mr. Klein explained why he pulled the resolution from the Consent Agenda. The resolution recommends cuts to a number of arts and cultural organizations that are very popular with locals and tourists. They are being cut despite an increase in room tax funding. Arts and cultural organizations are fragile things and it is not realistic to expect them to be able to sustain on their own. He hopes they can be brought up to the funding levels of 2015. He voted in support of this resolution with the understanding that the Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee would continue discussing what it would take to restore funding in 2017.

Mr. Dennis clarified that the numbers are the same as 2016. He said he has invited Tom Knipe, Coordinator, and some members of the Strategic Tourism Planning Board (STPB) to the May meeting to discuss the process by which this information is arrived at.

In response to questions from Ms. Kelles, Mr. Klein said he has been a member of STPB for a little less than a year and had not realized the decrease in the amounts proposed. He said as more organizations were added more money was not added, which resulted in everyone getting less yet more money is being generated by the room tax. He reiterated his comments that arts organizations are never going to be self-supporting.

Ms. Kiefer offered an amendment to add “of Ithaca, New York,” to the 3rd Resolved that was accepted as friendly.

Ms. Chock spoke of her serving on STPB for eight years and said she would like to have some questions answered and suggested the Legislature receive a presentation on all of the programs.

Mr. Klein spoke of how more and more money is being passed on to administration and would like to have that area looked into including the cost of reviewing the grant applications.

Ms. Robertson commented that the Room Tax budget exceeds $2 million and believes the County should pay for the review of grant submissions. The County has a beautiful Strategic Plan that outlines a number of things that will be invested in. The priorities are the result of a very comprehensive and inclusive process that included the entire community. The County has amazing volunteers who have done a lot of work.

Ms. Kelles said she appreciates Mr. Klein bringing his concerns forward and having a discussion of the importance of arts in the community. She supports the rationale used in the resolutions but would consider discussion in the future about the total allocation amount.

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne also appreciates the STPB group coming in to talk to the Committee to about the process and priorities and the opportunity for the Legislature to share its priorities.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:James Dennis, Member
SECONDER:Glenn Morey, Member
AYES:Will Burbank, Carol Chock, James Dennis, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Dooley Kiefer, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler
EXCUSED:Peter Stein