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The Coral Gables City Commission will be considering approving the recommendations of the City’s Cultural Development Board’s annual allocation of cultural grant funding at the August 24th Commission meeting.
According to the staff memo presented to the Commission, “One of the responsibilities of the City’s Cultural Development Board is to recommend to the City Commission the annual allocation of cultural grant funding. On June 2, 2021, the Cultural Development Board reviewed and scored 34 applications for the allocation of City of Coral Gables Cultural Grants funding. One (1) application was required by the Coral Gables Museum, funded separately. Proposed funding of 33 applicants and their scores (including the Coral Gables Museum) are shown on Exhibit A attached to the proposed Resolution.”
The funding must be used for: Artistic Fees, Direct Program Costs, Equipment Rental, Supplies/Materials, Marketing/Publicity, Printing and Publications, Space Rental, Transportation within Miami-Dade County, and Transportation for outside visiting artists.
The Cultural Development Board is made up of seven volunteer board members. One appointed by each Commissioner, one by the City Manager and one by the Board-As-A-Whole. The recommendation vote was taken in April prior to the new Board appointments taking their seats. Only four of the current Board Members were part of the April vote.
76.73% Of Funding Heading Out Of Coral Gables
A review of the list of recipients shows that only 23.27% of the funding is being allocated to organizations based in the City of Coral Gables. A sum of $146,702 are being allocated to organizations outside the City, while only $44,500 are being allocated to organizations in Coral Gables. (See graph below).
The determination of funds allocations is based on a subjective 100-point system by which members of the City’s Cultural Development Board rate projects on. Organizations must secure an 80 point score to receive an award. A multiplier is used to make proportional funding recommendations based on the organization’s point total. The categories and maximum points allocated are as follows:
- Project Excellence (20 points)
- Artistic Excellence (10 points)
- Organization & Project Stability (20 points)
- Outreach & Partnerships (10 points)
- Marketing (20 points)
- Outcomes (10 points)
- Finance & Budget (10 points)
George Washington Carver PTA Allocated $0
The George Washington Carver PTA submitted an application requesting $1,500 for their annual Taste of Carver cultural event, which features food from different cultures throughout the Carver community. Their application was the only one that received a $0 allocation. The reason, two Development Board members scored Carver’s application well below the rest, leaving Carver PTA with a score of 77, 3-points from the 80 needed.
Carver PTA’s application’s highest scores an 87, a 91 and a 96 came from Board Members Geannina Burgos, Leslie Pantin and Frank Martinez respectively. These are three of the four remaining Board Members from when the vote was taken in April. Three Board Members who gave Carver PTA scores of 75, 75 and 49 are no longer serving on this Board as of June 1st. The lowest score provided from the current Board Members came from City Manager Peter Iglesias’ appointee to the Board, Bernice Roth, who gave Carver PTA a subjective score of 55. (See graph below).
As the City Commission has the final say on awarding the funds, it will be voting at Tuesday’s Commission meeting whether to accept the Board’s recommendation.