$146k In Cultural Grants Would Go To Organizations Outside Coral Gables, As Request From Carver PTA Would Get $0

Ariel Fernandez

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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.

Grant Funding

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.

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10 thoughts on “$146k In Cultural Grants Would Go To Organizations Outside Coral Gables, As Request From Carver PTA Would Get $0

  1. These cultural organizations are asking for funding for programs that will take place in Coral Gables,
    certainly a boost for Coral Gables and for local restaurants, etc.

  2. As someone else stated, it wouldn’t be plausible for all of the funds to go to only organizations based in Coral Gables. That would limit the diversity in the arts being exposed to our community. However, all funding should only go to performances/exhibits/shows, etc. that will happen in Coral Gables and should not be at the expense of a Coral Gables based organization that has submitted an application. Especially a public school.

  3. Is Carver PTA being retaliated against by the City for its stance opposing the toxic Wawa back room deal? Very telling City Manager appointee subjectively scored Carver lowest! She should consider resigning.

  4. I appreciate the BOD’s commitment and time. It’s important for our community to have a diversity of cultural events, it is not feasible nor cost effective for all the events to originate in Coral Gables. That being said, I was unable to confirm that the funding was issued for performances/exhibitions within Coral Gables.

  5. I think the amount they are asking for will not make a hole in CG finances and hopefully will help a litle bit to best prepare those children for the future

  6. Thank you for your message Mr. Horowitz. Unfortunately, full applications have not been made readily available by the City.

  7. Read the full applications and see if the money is for artistic or cultural programs presented IN Coral Gables.
    Some organizations may not be bases in Coral Gables, but the programs are.

  8. It’s simple. Coral Gables taxpayer funds should go only to Coral Gables enterprises. This is the Coral Gables Cultural Development Board not Miami or any other municipality.

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