City Funding Update as of July 2022:
At the City Commission meeting on July 13, the commission unanimously voted to bring back the COCA funding request item at their September 7th meeting. We greatly appreciate this commitment from the commissioners, especially during a challenging budget year. As COCA and the City continue working together on this item, some of the most frequent questions we’ve seen are answered below:
Why are the funds needed? Local-facing arts, culture & heritage programs do not have a dedicated funding source.
What are “local-facing programs”? Community arts programs for residents. They include, but are not limited to, arts education programs; arts & culture programs for special needs youth and adults; arts & culture programs focused on local services; arts, culture history & heritage organizations with a primarily local focus.
How would the funds be used? COCA would use funds primarily for the Cultural Grant program, to redistribute to arts, culture & heritage nonprofit organizations with local-facing programs.
Does COCA receive support from the City and County? Yes, from both. COCA receives funds to cover a wide range of services, public art programs, the grant program, and other administrative needs. It also received 1 -penny of the tourism development tax (TDT), for redistribution through COCA’s grant programs. COCA has also received ARPA funding, which is dedicated to providing services to the community. COCA funding request will be used for redistribution to arts, culture & heritage organizations through our Cultural Grant program. The City has included a thorough breakdown of COCA funding in its July 13 agenda- Item 13.7: https://go.boarddocs.com/fla/talgov/Board.nsf/Public
COCA already receives Tourism Development Tax (TDT) support for regranting purposes. How is this distributed? We’re very thankful that 1-penny of the Tourism Development Tax (TDT) is allocated to the arts, culture & heritage sector for distribution to tourism-eligible programs. Programs that aren’t tourism-eligible, like local-facing programs, aren’t eligible to receive TDT funding.
We believe it’s important to continue providing information about this request. Updates will be posted here and shared on our social media channels. If you have a question about this topic we can add to this list, please contact Kathleen Spehar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTS ADVOCACY ALERT
COCA’s request for $300,000 to support local-facing programs is currently not recommended in the City’s FY23 budget draft. This request will support local arts & culture programs for our families, kids, neighborhoods, and those with special needs and economic challenges in our community that can’t qualify for tourism resources. These programs support City priorities, including Quality of Life, Impact on Poverty, Neighborhood Plans, and more.
COCA’s funding request has not been recommended. This request will primarily be used for regranting to arts and cultural organizations for local-facing programs. COCA does not have unrestricted regranting funds for local-facing programs and has qualifying applicants in the FY23 round that won’t be funded unless City funding is approved. Please contact your City commissioners in support of this funding and ask them to approve this funding request (Agenda item 12.1 – Option 2) https://go.boarddocs.com/fla/talgov/Board.nsf/Public
Join us at City Hall on Wednesday, September 07, at 3 PM at the Commission Chambers, 300 South Adams Street to support this funding. You can email commissioners and register to speak at the commission meeting here: https://www.talgov.com/cityleadership/citizeninput
REQUEST FOR CITY FUNDING- FY23 Budget cycle
The City of Tallahassee is considering a $300,000 funding request from COCA to fund local-facing programming. This support will allow arts & culture organizations and programs to deliver programming that positively impacts City priorities, its Strategic Plan, and basic services, including
Impact on Poverty through the support of community health and wellness initiatives;
Quality of Life to enhance livability and preserve the unique characteristics of neighborhoods and keep residents and visitors informed about events and attractions in Tallahassee;
Public Safety by our efforts to implement proactive community-based solutions to enhance public safety.
Pandemic recovery & Diversity, equity and inclusion through all programs and services.
Neighborhood Plans through arts, culture & public art.
Neighborhood beautification, safety and security through cultural programs and services activated throughout the City.
Previous to 2016, the City provided up to $500,000 of support that could be used for this purpose. Currently, no City funds are available for redistribution through COCA’s grant programs to support these kinds of programs. Our request will support local organizations & programs not eligible for funding through the Tourism Development Tax (TDT) including:
Arts education programs | Arts & culture programs for special needs youth and adults
Arts & culture programs focused on local services | Arts, culture history & heritage organizations with a primarily local focus.*
Organizations that implement local-facing programming tied to City priorities include, but are not limited to:
Motivating People Through Arts and Crafts programs for persons on the Autism Spectrum and with Neurodiversity challenges.
Cool Breeze Youth Music and Art Enrichment Workshops.
Tallahassee Youth Orchestra (TYO) camps in economically-challenged neighborhoods
Young Actor’s Theatre (YAT) and Tallahassee Ballet youth programs
We understand this is a challenging year and are grateful for the City’s belief in the positive impact arts, culture, history & heritage has on City priorities. We ask the City to fund all or part of our request in the FY23 budget cycle.
May 2020: Black Lives Matter
COCA stands with Black Lives Matter, protesters, artists of color, and allies speaking out to change inequitable and racist systems.
*Facilitate ongoing, organizational and community-wide conversations about race, class, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and income status as these issues relate to our arts community.
*Continue to examine our grant and public art practices and policies to ensure under-invested and under-represented communities can compete equitably for exhibitions, grants and other financial opportunities.
*Feature artists and organizations in our community that facilitate equity and those who are equity champions.
*The ability to express, celebrate and champion cultural tradition and heritage is elemental to honest civic discourse and the well-being of our community.
*Artists and cultural creators have a unique role in challenging inequity and imagining new and more just realities.
*The health of our future cultural community in Tallahassee and Leon County is contingent on inclusionary practices that move towards cultural plurality.
*Inequity is pervasive and historic. Disparities and discrimination are daily occurrences that are rooted in long-standing majority privilege and power inside and outside of the cultural arts.
Equity moves past inclusion and representation; accepting that power has created uneven starting points for some communities and individuals. Simple diverse representation does not dismantle the unequal nature of voice, resource allocation and visibility that exist in the arts and cultural ecosystem.
The arts hold transformative power. They offer an instrument to amplify under-represented voices and open a dialog for meaningful change. We are listening. We see the outpouring of grief and pain. We hold ourselves accountable to be better and do more. This is a start, but there is more work to do to make sure we continue to learn and improve.
Please visit our website here to see COCA’s Statement on Cultural Equity.
Resources are added to this listing periodically.
Most recent update: 7-8-2022
DEI in TLH
Recording of the presentation can be found here (with Zoom passcode: t5=A?8nW)
Two additional resources mentioned in the DEI in TLH presentation, Black Fatigue by Mary Frances Winters and Good White People by Shannon Sullivan.
Black Fatigue by Mary Frances Winters can be purchased here.
Good White People by Shannon Sullivan can be purchased here.
Florida Senate Committee Assignments
The Senate has been filling seats on their committees. The complete directory of committees can be found at this link. The committees that are critical to our success are listed below. Your advocacy will be especially important if your senator is on one of these lists.
Some committees of critical importance to the success of arts and culture: are Appropriations, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development, and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
National Arts Action Summit – Entering its 35th consecutive year, the National Arts Action Summit is the only national event designed to bring together a broad cross-section of America’s cultural and civic organizations to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and increased public funding for arts and culture. There has never been a better time to join us at the National Arts Action Summit because this year, we’re taking our advocacy efforts to the next level by making it free for partner organizations and individuals to attend.
Initiatives to support
National Civil Rights Conference
Check out and register for the 2021 Conference
BIPOC Arts Marketing Freelancer Database
The brand-new BIPOC Arts Marketing Freelancer Database is a FREE, open source database. If you’re a graphic designer, web designer, video editor, sound/podcast engineer, illustrator, social media pro, etc – share your information! I’ve already had success connecting with an incredible freelancer through this list, and I hope the database will be useful to all of us going forward. If you’re a BIPOC Arts Marketing Freelancer, free to add your info directly to the spreadsheet. Keep it growing!
For years now Tallahassee has been in need of a comprehensive LGBTQ+ resource guide, one that is vetted and labored by people of the community. Capital Tea has held a monthly LGBTQ+ resource meeting where local LGBTQ+ groups and advocates have worked to develop a process that ensures this guide will meet our needs locally.
Who should fill this out?
This application is meant for any retail, restaurant, social service, mental health counselor, realtor, dentist, doctor, vet, entertainment space, legal, and every service that falls in between. We invite business owners and EDs to complete this application and we also wholeheartedly invite folks who work in these spaces as direct care, supervisors, front line, and volunteers to fill this out.
Huge shout out to the individuals who labored alongside us. Including but not limited to the Florida State University College of Medicine Center for Translational Behavioral Science, TransParent, PFLAG. We hope to share with you a list of other folks and groups who joined in for the collective goal of ensuring LGBTQ+ folks in our community have access to safe and affirming spaces!
Please feel free to share this with others in the Tallahassee area.
Shareable link below
The Movement 850 – Instagram
Brown Girls Doc Mafia is an initiative advocating for over 3,300 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world.