Arts funding falls short of requests

Commissioners were impressed with the quality of applications.
Thursday, June 16, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:16 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

Sixteen groups have asked the city for a total of $127,180 to fund arts projects in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The Commission on Cultural Affairs met for six hours Monday night to review the requests and to make recommendations on how much money the groups should get. The group has a little less than $77,000 to work with.

The commission caps requests at $10,000. Nine organizations asked for the maximum but none would receive it under the commission’s preliminary recommendations.

Commissioners overall were impressed with the quality of the applications.

“I spent 80 hours working on our application,” said Jill Womack, executive artistic director for Theater Reaching Young People and Schools.

Applications were evaluated based on their educational value, artistic quality, community outreach, administrative ability and additional revenue sources. All totaled, the programs requesting money would have an impact on an estimated 118,828 people, said Marie Hunter, director of the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

The recommendations will go to the Columbia City Council, which will make a final decision on the grants when it approves its budget for fiscal 2006.


  • Ragtag Programming for Film and Media Arts requested $10,000 to help cover the cost of the third True/False Film Festival, which is scheduled for February. The commission is recommending the group receive $8,485.
  • “Of all the applications, I found this one to be the best,” Commissioner Dan Kerner said. “The administration is tight, and I like the fact that they have a lot of in-kind donations.”
  • School of Service asked for $10,000 for Access Arts, which provides workshops and other outreach programs with special emphasis on the disadvantaged. The commission is recommending $8,485.
  • Theater Reaching Young People and Schools asked for $10,000 to help pay for two professional plays, four junior student plays, classes, theater camps, outreach and workshops. The commission recommends $7,634.
  • University Concert Series sought $10,000 for a series of eight public performances and four arts-education programs. The commission recommends $7,539.
  • The Missouri Symphony Society applied for $10,000 for its Hot Summer Nights music festival and its Healing Melodies concert series, which provides music therapy for hospital patients.
  • “While somewhat small, this is a very significant activity,” Commissioner Randy Gray said. The panel is recommending the group receive $7,351.
  • The We Always Swing Jazz Series asked for $10,000 to help pay for 10 performances, including a children’s concert, and to help support its free community newspaper, its artist-in-residence program and its photography exhibit. The commission is recommending $6,724.
  • The Columbia Entertainment Company Community Theatre asked for $8,000 for five theatrical productions. Commissioner Cindy Mustard especially liked the fact that the group is always reaching out to new segments of the population. The commission is recommending the company receive $5,044.
  • Columbia Chorale Inc. applied for $10,000 to help with the production of four live performances. The commission recommends $5,792.
  • The Columbia Civic Orchestra asked for $8,680 for a series of six concerts. The commission suggests $4,613.
  • Maplewood Barn Community Theatre asked for $2,000 to help cover the cost of five summer plays. The commission recommends $1,000.
  • Performing Arts in Children’s Education sought $5,000 to help support three plays, a staged reading and three musicals. The group will also offer two semesters of classes for youngsters from preschool through 12th grade. The commission suggests $2,369.
  • VSA Arts of Missouri requested $10,000 for its Accessing the Arts Project for people with disabilities.
  • “They are reaching an underserved segment of the population,” commission chairman Ken Greene said. The panel is recommending the group receive $4,675.
  • The Columbia Art League applied for $10,000 for art exhibitions, summer art programs, classes and the annual Art in the Park Festival. The commission recommends $4,045.
  • The Columbia Community Band applied for $3,000 for its 2006 concert series.
  • “The band is another one of the jewels of our community,” Mustard said. The commission is recommending it receive $1,206.
  • The Columbia Handbell Ensemble sought $2,000; the commission recommends it receive $1,000 .
  • Infopower International requested $8,500 for its Arts for Income project, which is intended to help young artists, especially those who are minorities or have low incomes, turn their talents into careers. The commission recommends it receive $1,000.

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