Town of Longview Grants of $ 192,000 to stimulate arts organizations | Local News
Seven cultural arts organizations in Longview may soon get an increase in funding that will help them attract visitors to the city for a variety of events planned for this year.
“Thanks to this funding, we are able to continue our programming. This grant will help us continue our shows and our season, ”said Nathaniel Olson, Executive Director of ArtsView Children’s Theater. “With the grant, we will be able to advertise more to reach more groups than we have had in the past. A portion of this grant will allow us to advertise outside of the Longview area so that we can go further into East Texas and attract more people to Longview. “
The ArtsView Children’s Theater is expected to receive $ 30,000 of a total of $ 192,780 in hotel occupancy tax, which will be distributed among the city’s arts and culture organizations. On May 13, Longview City Council will consider providing grants from its 2020 Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to ArtsView, Gregg County Historical Museum, Longview Symphony League, East Texas Symphonic Band, Longview Ballet Theater. , the Longview World of Wonders and the Longview Museum of Fine Arts.
“It’s fantastic and it brings us much needed relief,” said LMFA Executive Director Tiffany Jehorek. “We are very grateful for the city’s support for the arts.”
Each year, the city receives tax revenue from hotel and motel occupancy and distributes it in the form of grants for community programs and activities designed to enrich local tourism and grow the local economy. In 2019, the city distributed $ 275,000 in funds to cultural and artistic organizations; this funding came from hotel occupancy tax revenue during fiscal year 2019.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed or, in some cases, interrupted travel and tourism, resulting in fewer people staying in local hotels and motels. Longview typically distributes HOT funds on October 1 when the city begins a new budget cycle; however, the city was unsure if there would be enough funds to distribute in 2020.
At the end of the fiscal year, the decrease in the hotel occupancy tax was not as drastic as the city had anticipated, so the city made funds available to arts organizations this spring. .
Organizations must submit a request for funds and explain how the money would be used. The city’s Cultural Arts Advisory Board reviewed the applications and in April made recommendations on how the funds should be distributed. The city council is due to approve the proposals at its May 13 meeting.
“We were just thrilled that we were able to offer financial support for this round of grants,” said Dietrich Johnson, deputy director of the city’s community services administration. “I know it has helped our cultural arts groups tremendously as everyone tries to survive the pandemic.
Cultural arts organizations typically use the funds to help cover costs associated with promoting and marketing events to encourage tourism to Longview, Johnson explained.
Grant recipients must use the funds by September 30, he said. The city hopes to resume its typical funding cycle this year to re-award grants in the fall; however, this is based on observing a “trend towards normality in terms of visitors and hotel stays,” Johnson said.
Proposed grant recipients have a variety of events planned for which the funding will be used for marketing purposes.
The Gregg County Historical Museum is expected to receive $ 25,000 which, among other things, will help promote the visit to the Longview Architectural House of Monuments in September.
A proposal shows that the Longview Symphony League would receive the highest amount of funding at $ 48,500. The symphony plans to use funds to help promote its Magic of Harry Potter concert in August as well as for tourist maps and seasonal promotional brochures.
LMFA, which is set to raise $ 30,000, will help use the funds to support marketing efforts for exhibits such as the upcoming private collection exhibit of Dallas collector Stan Graff. The exhibit will feature a collection of early Texas art.
The East Texas Symphonic Band are expected to receive $ 18,710 to cover costs associated with their planned spring concert, which will take place on May 24 at the Teague Park Amphitheater.
The Longview Ballet Theater plans to use its grant of $ 13,720 to create a promotional video for its 50th season.
Longview World of Wonders, the city’s children’s museum, plans to use a grant of $ 26,850 to help promote its exhibits.
ArtsView Children’s Theater will use funds to help promote its two summer shows, “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” and “Disney’s Mulan Jr.”