RFA Changes

Big possible changes to the appropriation process at the Utah State Legislature are brewing. Right now, most line item requests for cultural organizations go through the Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations sub-committee and that committee is seriously thinking about changing how it operates in terms of cultural dollars. As part of that process, the Utah Division of Arts & Museums gave a presentation about their existing granting process. Here are our notes, a pdf of the presentation, and the audio. What do you think? Our notes from the meeting are below.

Our notes:

06/20/17

Business, Economic Development and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee

Department of Heritage & Arts: Grants Programs Deep-Dive

 

  • 1 - Welcome and Introduction (Jill Remington Love, ED of Utah Department of Heritage and Arts & Vicki Bourns, ED of Utah Division of Arts & Museums)
    • Specifically going to talk about heritage and arts
    • “Pass Through” Grants
      • How they come through
      • How they’re monitored
  • 2 - Budget and Appropriations Subcommittee Overview
    • Analyzing a number of organizations, not a zero based budget exercise
    • Guiding questions for Interim 2017 deep-dive analysis
      • What are we trying to accomplish?
      • How is it organized?
      • How are we paying for it?
      • What is being bought?
      • What is the balance?
      • Hope with all of this to improve efficiency, streamline
      • Talk to those who have received ongoing funding
  • 3 - Deep Dive Heritage and Arts Grants
    • Deep Dive on Competitive Grants and Pass Through Process
    • Overview
      • Most important to their department is that there is adequate funding
      • Improves Quality of Life: not about consumerism, it’s about experiences 
      • Social Impact: 
        • Been used with researchers and veterans and elderly
        • positive effects on personal lives of elderly in nursing homes for example
      • Adding arts to STEM
      • Economic Development and Job Creation
        • Will be instrumental in revitalizing communities
        • Study came out about impact of arts
          • For Example: Generate jobs in rural communities
      • Division: Grants Program
        • Enabling Legislation
        • Overview of Division
          • Oldest arts agency in the country
          • Connect communities of Utah by investing in arts and museums and culture of Utah, foster appreciation
          • 500 Outreach services annually
          • State Statute 9-6-201
            • provides mandate to advance interests of arts
            • to approve grant funds
            • assist utah museums in improving and caring for their collections
            • quality resources
            • provide access for research
            • we shall administer a state museum art program (?)
        • Data Collected
          • Organizations they fund reach 7 million ppl annually
          • US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Labor Stats, Census, WESTAF
          • 5th in nation for arts employment
            • 17% above national average
            • Is it because we’re funding from the state at the higher level? (Senator Sandall)
            • State vs Private Sector driving the industry? (question from Senator Sandall)
              • How much is the state adding?
              • Add about up to 5% of annual operating budget form the funding they provide (normally under 1%)
            • Or is it ticket sales? Better at going to cultural events? Why are we 5th? (Senator Sandall)
          • Utah ranked 2nd in attendance in art exhibitions
          • #1 In US at live music, theatre and dance performances (live events)
            • We have theaters all across the state, how does that add into the stats?
          • Helps to prove that people value experiences over material goods
          • The majority of the applicants come back year after year
        • Current Process
        • State Revenue 
          • Investments
            • individual support
            • businesses 
            • foundations
            • government
          • Many of the, often rely solely on government funding because most of their staff is volunteer based
          • Can be challenging for orgs to get corporate support because of the state’s location
          • Number of Foundations that support 
          • Federal, State, County and City opportunities for funding
          • Earned Income
            • ticket sales
            • admission fees
            • gift shops 
            • concessions
          • 40% of grants funds come from the NEA, do rely on Federal Gov funding
          • 2017, accounts 44% for the funding 
          • 2018: 36% of funding from the NEA
        • Proposed Grant Process
          • Fair 
          • Publicly distribute info far and wide,
            • How to apply, deadlines, etc
          • Grants require a 1 to 1 match
          • Staff provide workshops and training to assist in grant process
          • Clear guidelines
          • Written apps detailing what they’ll provide
            • video clips encouraged
            • love seeing evidence of community support
            • how do they engage with underserved populations
          • Volunteer panel reviews applications
            • they are trained by staff
            • diverse panel from around the state
            • 20-30 applications
            • apply points based on criteria
            • provide crucial guidance and advice and help streamline process
            • Board as whole reviews panel process and then approves the grants
          • must sign a contract and provide a review of project
          • collect data from grant recipients, thorough review of what their project was, how funds were spent, who were served, etc.
          • Last 20-30 years our cultural section has grown
            • SpyHop
            • Utah Arts Festival
          • Applications Received vs Funded
            • 2016: funded 217 vs 251 applied
              • Sandall: How many who don’t get funded come back to this committee for appropriations request?
                • Answer: (Alder who is in charge of grant processes) few come back to appropriations for requests
            • 2017: 224 funded vs 257 applied
            • Over 250 cultural organizations that could apply but don’t
              • normally very small organizations
              • What are the reasons?
          • Seems if they fail in the grants process what makes them stop from coming to the appropriations for requests? How do we prevent these “end runs” from happening” 
        • Beyond Money
          • Grant recipients receive:
            • ongoing consultations
            • workshops
            • volunteer management trainings
            • networking opportunities
            • mentoring
            • in turn helps the orgs better serve their community
        • Other State Funding
          • 2017 Arts and Museums Grants ($1,500,000)
            • example museum grants can be up to $1200
          • 2017 RFA Line Item PassThrough Funding ($4.6 million)
            • but because they went to RFA they received about $302,000
          • Utah Shakespeare Festival: Succesful in RFA Budget
            • Operating budget of $7.8 million dollars
            • request for appropriations funding worked
            • received $150,000
          • If Orgs receive RFA for Ongoing Pass-Through Funds or one time operating request then the division proposes they can NOT receive funding from arts and museums
          • Exceptions: People who revise POPs and IC funding can still apply for arts and museums funding
          • Have 19 major cultural orgs with budgets over 2 million dollars
            • these 19 major cultural orgs totals over a 157 million dollars
            • shows economic power
              • major museums AND organizations
              • Idea: 3 million dollars added to the museum and arts fund would support 19 of the largest orgs
                • Rep Sandall: If we were to add 3 million dollars to the fund and it went to 1.5% of orgs, how are we assured it will increase value of organization? If we give those organizations money to free up other money then how are we actually helping give seed money to smaller organizations? When do organizations stop need investments?
                  • Answer: Organizations will always need investments
          • Pass-Through Funding
            • Almost doubled in 2018
            • Total amount for 2016: $3.3 million
            • 2017: $3.6 million
            • 2018: $1.5 million
          • Special Circumstances
            • No funding line in place
              • community celebrations
              • utah humanities
              • capital projects
              • major events
          • Kim Gardner Institute and GOED
        • Proposed Process
          • 3 Key Goals
            • Invest in Utah’s key cultural orgs which substantially contribute to economic vitality
            • Resolve inequity in grants programs
            • increase support and resources to nurture Utah’s smaller arts orgs, which provide valuable services to Utah’s growing population
        • Phase 1: Feasibility Analysis
          • 1) Limited Scope Literature review
          • 2) Asses readily available date
          • 3) Indentify
          • 4) Survey economic developers across the states
        • Phase 2: The Deliverable
        • Proposed Process Part Two
        • Qualitative and Quantitative Measurements of Intrinsic Value
        • Initial proposal for the study was to look at 5 large orgs that substantially contribute to economic vitality
        • The new funding will not resolve the inequity issues
        • Applying what is learned form GOED to enhance the current process and invest in orgs that are promising for economic development (progress)
      • Kim Gardner Institute
        • Hope to help access to arts in rural Utah
        • The Casino Star Theatre has as much promise to create economic progress and vitality for Gunnison as the Utah Shakes for Cedar City
        • Small organizations are important and they’re attempting to learn how to refine their process to help with that
        • Arts and Cutlture programs help the economy 
          • creating jobs
          • attracting tourism,  etc
      • Utah is ranked third in the country for US employment and growth in the arts and culture sector
      • By working with the RFA we can find a way to equitably reach and help organizations across the state
      • Old Capital Projects Prioritization Process
        • “We have the ability to put in place lots of way to manage grant money”— 
        • Planning Retreat on August 17 @ State Library
  • Committee Chair: Will there be a bias? What assurances do we have in fairness and equity in this process? 
  • Rep. Moss: Concern: If we’re just looking at orgs for what will your benefit be to the economy? It shouldn’t all come down to numbers, it should have value in human experience, science, brain development, etc. Keep a balance in the area and not just focus on numbers.
  • Senator Buxton: Capital Projects?
    • Answer: Never given the money to fund capital projects
    • Sen Buxton: He sees the impact of small rural museums and arts organizations on communities and supports what is happening. There is an economic impact because it means growth in our state. How do you measure that? It can be measured. 

 

    • Rep. Webb: If you can establish an economic impact in a grant then you can get always funded year after year after year which means that the big ones will always get money. He thinks the idea is to get organizations up and running and he’s not sure if the philosophy should be to continue to give money to large well established organizations that are not in as great of a need as other organizations. 
    • Sen. Davis: It’s about growth. It is important in our culture. Look to history of Utah, it’s a great part of who we are and who we want to be. Shows preservation of past and culture. When we look at the arts should it be economically driven or should it be about driving the mind to create? (should be the latter according to Sen) Our job should be to encourage art and culture. 
    • Rep. Webb: There will always be competing interest in the arts so how do we have a fair way of distributing interests.
    • Sen. Davis:  If we turn it over to a committee it makes it easier. Have we really given the grants program the money they need to do what they need to do? Have we forced them to only look at the economic outcome rather than the artistic outcome?
    • Rep. Webb: How do we eliminate bias? because it will bet there no matter what.
      • Criteria of Grant Process: help to level out bias because of the diversity of the group
    • Subcommittee Chair: The issue of fairness and balance is going to be paramount if the subcommittee decides to implement a new process. 
    • Sen Buxton: Arts cost.  t costs to have the public come through because it does damage to it. The public doesn’t pay enough for upkeep. We’re always going to have to help arts and culture organizations. Tuacan and Hale could probably make it without state money, they should stand on their own feet. Small organizations however will need help. Big orgs can take a second seat sometimes.
    • Subcommittee Chair: Would like to see what the numbers actually are. 
    • Arts and Museums: We value these organizations no matter what their sizes are. Ticket prices would be 2-3x more than they are now without outside funding and philanthropy
      • Part of the reason they’re not for profit is so all people can afford and have the opportunity to come to the events
    • Rep. Peterson: We do have a custodial responsibility for our heritage and making art accessible to the public. We’re debating about proportion and scale. We’re dealing with art and politics: two things that are impossible to be objective about. There doesn’t seem to an easy answer but we can try to be as fair and impartial as we can be. Some biases we can’t overcome because of the nature of what we’re dealing with. 
  • Evaluation of Ongoing Pass-Through Funding
    • What is your org’s total budget?
    • What percent of it is state funds?
    • How do you use state funds?
    • How do you measure success?
    • Utah Humanities: Cynthia Buckingham and Jodie Graham
      • What is your org’s total budget?
        • Total Budget: $1,272,500
        • 11% of budget is from state funding
      • How do you use state funds?
        • This year:
          • Quick Grants
          • Community Conversations
          • Utah Humanities Book Festival
          • Museum on Main Street
          • Communications
          • Outreach
      • How do you measure success?
        • 894 programs in 47 communities in 2016
        • serving 21 of 29 counties plus statewide radio broadcasts
        • contribute to gov herbet’s 66% by 2020 initiating
        • provide professional development
        • bring people together for nonpartisan conversations
        • documenting nearly 1 million dollars in local matches??
          • Rep. Moss: Applaud Utah Humanities for such a good job reaching a statewide audience. She’s watched them do important work for the last decade.
          • Committee Chair: Museum on Main street
          • Utah Humanities: teaches museums how to serve their communities better
          • Committee Chair: How would you feel about other granting processes? The transparency we’re seeing helps us to understand the process of what and how you do what you do. 
  • Southwest Symphony:
    • What is your organization’s total budget?
      • $170,000
    • What percent of your budget is from state funding?
      • Pass-Through funding is almost 14%
    • How do you use state funds?
      • Contracted services represent $33,000 of budget
      • Concert master is being paid
      • Looking to pay a stipend to their musicians
      • free Messiah Concert
      • educate present and future audiences
    • How do you measure success?
      • Filling the seats
      • revenue projections have helped them stretch and grown as an organization
      • how well they follow their mission and strategic plan
      • they would not be a functioning organization today without this pass-through funding
  • Union Station Foundation
    • What is your organization’s total budget?
      • $900,000
    • What percent of your budget is from state funding?
      • 11% of total budget
    • How do you use state funds?
      • utility bill payments
        • building is 100 years old but requires tons of maintenance 
        • looking to complete a renovation in five years
    • How do you measure success?
      • being a cultural and educational resource to their community
      • following through on their strategic plan
      • developed new educational programs
      • growing attendance

Rep. Webb: Why is the government funding allocated solely to utilities? Do other grants have strings attached?

Union Station: Other grants do have string attached.

 

 

 

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