This morning I sat through a state Arts Council grant panel review for Media Arts organizations. The grant review process is now conducted by teleconference, which is great because it saves thousands of dollars in travel expenses for arts organizations statewide. It used to be that we’d all have to haul our tired carcasses to Tallahassee, which is a fine town but is not exactly conveniently located.
This state grant program funds those cultural organizations whose primary mission is to advance film production and exhibition in Florida. We’ve applied for many years and have always seemed to fare well. The panelists are experts in the field who take the time to read and analyze each application, then score them. The scores from all of the panelists are totaled and then averaged. This morning we were pleased when Tampa Theatre’s application received the highest score overall!
Now, all of this may not matter because the legislature is wrestling with budget cuts. There’s the possibility that the program which funds these grants may not be funded at all. Yes, times are tough, especially for governments at all levels, but the arts are a proven, smart investment. We also believe Tampa Theatre is one of Tampa’s most creative economic engines and deserves local and state support.
If you take just three minutes now and click on this link where you can send a quick and easy message to your legislator. Doing so will help restore funding for the Theatre’s artistic and educational programs, but it may also help hundreds of other local arts organizations all around the state.