Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission members awarded $104,934 to help fund 21 upcoming events and projects during its regular fall special funding meeting held Monday afternoon inside the Fayetteville Town Center.
Fall A&P funding amounts
|2013||$261,880||$421,980||Story 1, 2|
Source: Staff report
Twice each year, the commission awards funds to groups needing financial help with promoting or starting an event.
Executive Director Molly Rawn said Monday’s award was less money than the commission usually gives away each fall because there are several expenses that are expected to eat away at some of the non-budgeted funds in 2017, including work related to a planned re-branding, several upgrades to the Town Center building, and a possible move of the Visitors Bureau’s office to the historic Walker-Stone House on Center Street.
The group on Monday relied heavily on the funding committee’s recommendations on how much money each applicant should receive. The committee, led by Rawn, spent the weeks leading up to Monday’s meeting discussing each request both in-house and during phone or email interviews with some of the applicants.
Only three of Rawn’s funding recommendations were changed by a vote of the full commission on Monday.
Commissioner Tim Freeman made a case for increasing the Arkansas Air Museum’s award from zero dollars to $2,940 to help cover promotional costs for upcoming events at the museum. The group agreed and also decided to double Fayetteville Public Schools’ award from $2,000 to $4,000 for next month’s Bulldog Classic high school basketball tournament, and to increase TheatreSquared’s award from $14,000 to $15,000 to match the amount given to help the performance group market itself in 2015.
Commissioner Hannah Withers challenged two of Rawn’s recommendations, which called for funding of groups that have received money for many years, including All Sports Productions, which hosts the annual Joe Martin Stage Race professional cycling event; and the Fayetteville Art Alliance, which operates the Fayetteville Underground gallery on the downtown square.
Joe Martin Stage Race officials requested $35,000 this year and received $10,000. All Sports Productions has been awarded $100,780 by the commission for the cycling event since 2000, according to Rawn.
Fayetteville Underground requested $18,700 and received $4,000 for a fifth year of general marketing costs, bringing the organization’s award total to $193,830.
Withers said while the stage race is an important annual event, its organizers should at this point be able to fund the longtime event without using taxpayer dollars. She made similar comments about Fayetteville Underground.
“I feel like we’ve been bailing this organization out for a really long time,” Withers said. “I just don’t think we should be subsidizing them anymore.”
Withers’ motion to withdraw funding for both groups did not receive support from any other commissioner.
Sixteen groups who applied for funding were denied completely and received no awards from the commission. Commissioners said many of those events didn’t meet the commission’s highest considerations which include filling restaurants or hotels, and drawing tourists from outside the region.
Two other applicants who requested funds for murals in Fayetteville were denied Monday, but will be asked to re-apply for funding from the commission’s upcoming public art program which is set to be unveiled in December.
See below for a full list of projects considered, including brief descriptions, award amounts, and comments from commissioners.
Fall 2016 A&P Funding Awards
- AR Air and Military Museum (PDF) – Funding: $2,940
The Arkansas Air and Military Museum requested $10,000 to update and maintain advertising items designed to promote interest in the museum in 2017. It was recommended that the group receive no funds, but after a discussion, commissioners agreed to give $2,940 to help cover promotional costs for upcoming events at the museum.
- Arkansas Brewgrass Festival (PDF) – Funding: $2,000
Officials with the Arkansas Brewgrass Festival would like $15,000 to help with marketing and production costs for next year’s event, set for April 15, 2017 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Commissioners agreed to give $2,000, but stipulated that the funds be used to promote the event outside the region in hopes of drawing more tourists to the area.
- Arkansas Comedy Collective, LLC (PDF) – Funding: $1,000
The Arkansas Comedy Collective requested $5,000 to cover advertising costs for the Huge Lightning Comedy Festival, scheduled for April 20, 2017 at Path Outfitters in Fayetteville. Commissioners agreed to give $1,000 and to help the organizers with added promotion through the Visitors Bureau.
- Art Feeds (PDF) – Funding: $0
Art Feeds officials would like $25,805 for various costs associated with the creation of a mural park in Shulertown off of Dickson Street created by elementary students. The project received no funds, but the organizers will be asked to re-apply for funding from the commission’s upcoming public art program which is set to be unveiled in December.
- Artist’s Laboratory Theatre (PDF) – Funding: $0
Artist’s Laboratory Theatre requested $10,953 for marketing and advertising support for the group’s 2017 season. Commissioners said the organization received money in the past for a different project, but didn’t use the majority of their award. They questioned whether the group was enough of a tourism draw to warrant another funding award, and decided to hold off on donating any money this fall.
- Bike Fayetteville / City of Fayetteville (PDF) – Funding: $3,000
The city’s Sustainability Department would like $4,500 for advertising costs associated with next year’s Bike Month events in May 2017. Commissioners said they like the project and agreed to give $3,000 to help promote the series of events.
- Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (PDF) – Funding: $11,000
The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks requested $18,295 to supplement advertising costs in 2017. Commissioners said it’s been many years since the garden received help from the commission, and agreed to give $11,000 to the organization, which plans to soon expand its footprint near Lake Fayetteville.
- Cattywampus Co-op (PDF) – Funding: $1,000
Cattywampus Co-op officials would like $21,000 for promotional costs associated with the inaugural Cattywampus Wonderland art and craft show on Dec. 10, 2016 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. With the event being less than one month away, commissioners said they weren’t sure how much help they could provide with marketing funds between now and Dec. 10. They said they loved the idea of the event, though, which hopes to be somewhat of a replacement of The Little Craft Show, and agreed to give $1,000 and to help with planning and offer suggestions for a possible venue change next year.
- Comedians NWA/Susu Productions, LLC (PDF) – Funding: $1,200
Comedians NWA requested $3,600 to advertise three shows featuring national comedians in 2017. Commissioners like the series, and agreed to give $1,200 to help with one of the shows.
- Community Creative Center (PDF) – Funding: $4,000
The Community Creative Center would like $10,000 for marketing support during 2017. While the center doesn’t necessarily bring in tourists, commissioners agreed to give $4,000 and said they do like to provide some help to organizations that add value to local residents and that enhance the city’s image.
- Equestrian Bridges (PDF) – Funding: $0
Equestrian Bridges officials requested $23,840 to advertise and promote the group’s Fall Festival and Mini Derby events, along with other regular programming in 2017. Commissioners said helping promote a fundraiser is not a part of the mission of the A&P Commission, and agreed not to fund the request.
- Fayetteville Underground (PDF) – Funding: $4,000
Fayetteville Underground wants $18,700 for a fifth year of general marketing costs, and to help with the group’s upcoming Sense of Place project. Commissioner Hannah Withers motioned to remove all funding from the group, which has asked for help with operating expenses for five years now. Some commissioners agreed that the group has likely been awarded enough money, but decided to give $4,000 this year, partially because the gallery has seen a lot of turnover in leadership over the past couple of years, and also because they said it’s important to have a strong art presence on the square.
- Fayetteville Evergreen Cemetery Association (PDF) – Funding: $0
The Fayetteville Evergreen Cemetery Association requested $19,000 to replace a monument honoring Archibald Yell at the cemetery. It was originally recommended that the group receive $2,000, but commissioners decided to allocate the funds to increases for other applicants. Some members said historic preservation of monuments is not something the group should be funding.
- Fayetteville High School (PDF) – Funding: $0
Fayetteville High School would like $55,000 to make improvements to the Lady Dawg Softball Complex on Lewis Street in Fayetteville. Commissioners did not approve any funding for this project, saying that the high school’s other applications were more worthy of funding help at this time.
- Fayetteville High School (PDF) – Funding: $14,294
Fayetteville High School would also like $14,961 to pay the University of Arkansas for stadium rentals at Bogle Park, Baum Stadium, Razorback Field during the Weekend of Champions event May 19-20, 2017. Commissioners agreed to give $14,294 for the event, saying that it brings in thousands of visitors each year. The group also asked Rawn to consider including the event in the Visitors Bureau’s annual sports marketing budget.
- Fayetteville Parks & Rec (PDF) – Funding: $3,000
The city’s parks and recreation department requested $4,000 for costs associated with the Ladies DU Fayetteville duathlon race, set for June 11, 2017 at Veterans Memorial Park. Commissioners agreed to help the department buy t-shirts and trophies with a $2,000 award, but will ask them to incorporate the Experience Fayetteville logo as a way to help promote the city.
- Fayetteville Public Schools (PDF) – Funding: $4,000
Fayetteville Public Schools would like $10,000 to pay for appearance fees, awards, and other expenses related to this year’s Bulldog Classic basketball tournament scheduled for Dec. 8-10, 2016. Originally recommended for a $2,000 award, Commissioner Matt Behrend suggested doubling the amount because of the high attendance the annual high school basketball tournament receives. The group agreed.
- Fossil Cove Brewing (PDF) – Funding: $2,000
Fossil Cove Brewing Company requested $15,000 to promote the second annual Frost Fest craft beer festival, scheduled for February 2017. Commissioners agreed to give $2,000, but stipulated that the funds be used to promote the event outside the region in hopes of drawing more tourists to the area.
- Habitat for Humanity (PDF) – Funding: $0
Habitat for Humanity would like $10,000 to help promote the 2017 Springfest event, set for April 8, 2017 on Dickson Street. Commissioners said they like Springfest, but said after looking over the application, they agreed any funds given would essentially be like making a charitable donation to the organization, which isn’t a part of the commission’s mission. They did, however, agree to help with social media promotion of the event.
- Idle Class Magazine (PDF) – Funding: $1,000
Idle Class Magazine requested $7,500 to rent a venue on Dickson Street for the Black Apple Awards show on April 14, 2017. Commissioners agreed to give $1,000 to help promote the event.
- Inverse Performance Arts Festival (PDF) – Funding: $0
Organizers of the Inverse Performance Art Festival would like $15,950 to pay for artists’ travel expenses and promote the 2017 festival, scheduled for March 30 through April 1 next year. Commissioners said that the festival’s highest-drawing events take place in Bentonville, and decided not to give any funds at this time.
- Joe Martin Stage Race (PDF) – Funding: $10,000
All Sports Productions would like $35,000 to help pay national and international sanctioning fees and marketing costs for the upcoming Joe Martin Stage Race professional cycling event and the Gran Fondo amateur ride, set for March 30 through April 2, 2017. Commissioners said the professional event enhances the city’s image and agreed to give $10,000. Withers was against the idea and motioned to remove all funding from the group, which has asked for help with operating expenses for many years. She said the race has received enough money from the commission, but there was no support for her motion.
- Magdalene Serenity House (PDF) – Funding: $0
Officials with the Magdalene Serenity House requested $7,500 to pay the Kruger Brothers band to play at a concert designed to raise funds for the organization. Commissioners said helping promote a fundraiser is not a part of the mission of the A&P Commission, and agreed not to fund the request.
- Matt Miller (PDF) – Funding: $0
Local artist Matt Miller would like $15,000 to paint a mural on the side of a building on Prairie Street in south Fayetteville. Miller received no funds, but will be asked to re-apply for funding from the commission’s upcoming public art program which is set to be unveiled in December.
- Northwest Arkansas Juggling Festival (PDF) – Funding: $500
Organizers of the Northwest Arkansas Juggling Festival requested $2,370 to help pay venue costs for next year’s event, scheduled from March 31 through April 9, 2017 at multiple locations in Fayetteville, including the Yvonne Richardson Community Center. Commissioners agreed to give $500 to the event and will consider giving the organization free use of the Town Center and help with some additional printing costs.
- NWA Creative Arts Network (PDF) – Funding: $2,000
NWA Creative Arts Network officials want $5,210 to promote the new Stage Eighteen venue on Center Street in downtown Fayetteville. Commissioners said they would like to see the new venue succeed and agreed to give $2,000 for promotional help.
- NWA Musicians Connection (PDF) – Funding: $0
The NWA Musicians Connection requested $10,000 to promote its monthly Songwriters Circles events in 2017. Commissioners said they didn’t think the draw was large enough and that they’d like to see the group try to get funding help in multiple ways other than solely asking the commission. Commissioners awarded no funds to the series.
- Ozark Literacy Council (PDF) – Funding: $0
Officials with the Ozark Literacy Council would like $10,000 to promote the Read Across NWA event, set for July 15, 2017. Commissioners said they love the program, but didn’t think it would provide a draw for tourism. They awarded no funds.
- Ozark Mixology and Arts Festival (PDF) – Funding: $0
Organizers of the Ozark Mixology and Arts Festival requested $15,000 to promote the 2017 festival, set for Jan. 13-15 at multiple locations in Fayetteville. Commissioners said the group’s application was somewhat vague and didn’t provide enough clarity on how their potential funding would be used. Commissioners said the organization’s budget called for a $40,000 profit from the event, which they said seemed like enough money to stand on its own, considering last year’s event sold out. They awarded no funds.
- SoNA (PDF) – Funding: $8,000
Symphony of Northwest Arkansas would like $10,000 to help with marketing costs associated with the organization’s 2017 budget. Commissioners said the symphony is a clear example of something that enhances the city’s image and brings tourists to the area. They agreed to donate $8,000 and help with some outdoor advertising.
- The Temp Series Project & UU Fellowship (PDF) – Funding: $0
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship requested $14,600 to pay screening fees and rent the Fayetteville Public Library for the FAIR: Fayetteville Artists In Residence in 2017. Commissioners said the group’s application lacked a specific marketing plan and focus, and decided not to provide funding.
- TheatreSquared (PDF) – Funding: $15,000
TheatreSquared officials requested $20,000 for marketing support during the 2017 performance season. Rawn recommended awarding $14,000, but the group increased the amount to $15,000 to match the funds given to help the performance group market itself in 2015.
- The Art Experience (PDF) – Funding: $0
The Art Experience, Inc. would like $25,000 to promote the 2017 Puppets in the Park event, set for Oct. 21 at Wilson Park. Commissioners said they didn’t think the event provided enough of a tourism draw to warrant an award. They gave no funds to the group.
- UA Graduate Thesis Project (PDF) – Funding: $0
The University of Arkansas Lemke Department of Journalism would like $4,954 to purchase six GoPro cameras and other equipment needed to produce Virtual Fayetteville, a monthly series of 360 films promoting Fayetteville, and a short documentary travelogue film for a student’s master thesis. Commissioners said purchasing equipment for the school was not a part of their mission, and awarded no funds.
- UA Recreation (PDF) – Funding: $0
The University of Arkansas Recreation Department requested $1,000 to reimburse the department for food purchased during the Region IV Flag Football Tournament which appears to have been held earlier this year (Oct. 21-23) on the UA campus. Commissioners denied the funding request because the event has already taken place.
- UAMS (PDF) – Funding: $1,000
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Office of Continuing Education would like $3,100 to help pay for a networking reception during the 2017 ICARE Conference, scheduled for Dec. 8-10 at the Chancellor Hotel. Commissioners said conferences lead to booked hotel rooms and dinners at restaurants, and agreed to donate $1,000 for the event.
- Walton Arts Center (PDF) – Funding: $14,000
Walton Arts Center officials requested $20,000 to help pay for artist fees, travel, lodging, and marketing costs associated with the Fayetteville portions of the 2017 Artosphere Festival, set for May 4-20 at various locations around the region. Commissioners said the annual arts festival includes highly-attended events and that they’re proud to continue funding it. They agreed to give $14,000.