The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23987   Message #270064
Posted By: JamesJim
02-Aug-00 - 12:47 AM
Thread Name: Help: Funding for the arts
Subject: RE: Help: Funding for the arts
PoohBear, as it happens, I am doing the same thing in my hometown. What I have learned is that you have to start with the local politicians. City Councilmen/women, County officials, etc. Most of the time they have a discretionary budget from which they can give dollars to causes in which they believe. After you get dollars locally, you then should move on to the State level. State representatives from your area may be able to help you with your cause, but the first question they will ask is, "did you get any money from local government?" If the answer is no, you probably won't get any help from your State. Fortunately for us we were able to get some (limited) local help (actually, some of the folks working on this before I got involved had already convinced our Councilpersons to kick in some bucks). We are now pursuing State funding. What we have also learned is that the Governor of our State has a discretionary fund from which he can give to certain causes. We are going to try to get some of those dollars if at all possible. It is also important for members of your Arts Council to be influencial citizens. If they are business people, they will generally have good contacts and may be able to help get some corporate dollars. As it turns out, some of the folks working on this project have been at it for two years. As I said, I came only within the last 6 months. One thing for sure - you can't take no for a final answer (from government). Persistency is important and I believe will ultimately pay off. Of course, one way to get a few dollars to actually begin having performances in the theater. Our's is in good enough condition to do this and we have done so. However, I doubt we could get enough dollars to do any real restoration - our theatre has limited seating capacity. If you are like us, you need some big money to get the job done. What we've decided is to priortize - get things done that will help us begin having regular performances (lighting, sound, etc.). It's always good if the roof doesn't leak and the air conditioning works. If you have any ideas, I'd be interested in hearing from you. We are working with a few corporate sponsors, but it has been slow going. GOOD LUCK! Jim