Highway 71 Classic / Photo: Ozark Cycling Adventures
Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission members awarded $56,620 to help fund nearly a dozen upcoming events and projects at the group’s regular meeting held Monday afternoon inside the Fayetteville Town Center.
That’s about $10,000 less than what was given last year, but is in line with Executive Director Molly Rawn’s recent overhaul of the process for distributing grant funds.
Fall A&P funding amounts
|2013||$261,880||$421,980||Story 1, 2|
Source: Staff report
In the past, fall grant money came from what was left over from the commission’s budget, which is funded primarily from half of the city’s 2 percent HMR sales tax.
“That’s not the case anymore,” said Rawn on Monday. “We don’t have excess HMR that we haven’t budgeted. We’ve budgeted all of it.”
Rawn said several factors have led to the need for a larger budget. The Fayetteville Town Center staff, for example, has doubled in recent years to accommodate an increase in events. The commission also now owns the Walker-Stone House, and Experience Fayetteville has begun regular updates to its marketing plan to include new expenses like photography and video work for advertising and promoting tourism in Fayetteville.
2017 represented the first significant drop in total grant amounts. The commission gave away over $800,000 in fall funding during the five previous years. At their height, grant totals in fall 2013 were nearly $262,000.
Rawn’s team now uses a defined rubric to come up with recommended award amounts for those who apply for help. Applicants must specify one of five focus areas their event falls into: performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts, sports and recreation, and heritage. Applications are then rated on organizational capacity, administrative experience, advertising and promotional plans, and potential sales tax impact.
This fall, Rawn recommended 11 groups receive funding.
The largest amount went to Breakaway Cycling, a local junior road racing development team, for its annual Highway 71 Classic cycling ride.
“What (Breakaway) are trying to is exactly in line with what we are also trying to do in our marketing efforts,” said Rawn, who noted that the event draws riders from Oklahoma, Missouri, Idaho, Texas, Illinois and Indiana. “I think this event helps market and tell a cycling story about Fayetteville that I believe we desperately need to do.”
The event offers three fully-supported road routes which each head south from Walker Park along scenic Highway 71 and then back to Fayetteville for a festival-like atmosphere at the finish. Aid stations set up along the way are stocked with water, energy drinks and pastries from local bakeries in what’s called a “pastry tour.”
Rawn said her future budgets will put an emphasis on promoting cycling, and that she plans to create a new position for a cycling coordinator at Experience Fayetteville in the coming months.
Other large grants went to Fayetteville Yoga Fest, NWA Pride Weekend and Wizard Way of the Ozarks (formerly DiaCON Alley of the Ozarks), which each received $7,500.
Several organizations did not receive any funding this round, despite filing an application. Those events, Rawn said, are either past event, are already well-funded, or didn’t quite fit the criteria for funding.
Fall 2018 A&P Funding Awards
|Artist’s Laboratory Theatre||Southside Civic Lab||$3,575||$15,000|
|Arts Live Theatre||eARTh Festival||$1,950||$15,000|
|Big-Bot Design||Death Ray Illustration and Print Expo||$5,050||$10,000|
|Botanical Garden of the Ozarks||General Advertising||$1,685||$14,844|
|Breakaway Cycling||Highway 71 Classic||$8,500||$15,000|
|Community Creative Center||Marketing Support and Wheel Mobile||$5,000||$10,000|
|Fayetteville Public Schools||Weekend of Champions||$0||$15,000|
|Fayetteville Yoga Fest||Fayetteville Yoga Fest||$7,500||$15,000|
|Fenix Fayetteville||Fenix Art Festival||$0||$15,000|
|Northwest Arkansas Aquatics||NWAA Winter Invitational||$5,000||$9,000|
|NWA Center for Equality||NWA Pride Weekend||$7,500||$15,000|
|Spark Foundation||Nutty Runner 5K||$3,360||$7,250|
|TheatreSquared||Visit Fayetteville Marketing||$0||$15,000|
|Walton Arts Center||Voice Jam||$0||$15,000|
|Wizard Way||Wizard Way of the Ozarks||$7,500||$15,000|
|Pack Rat Outdoor Center*||Wild and Scenic Film Festival*||$0||$5,000|
|Heart of the Ozarks Poultry Association*||Heart of the Ozarks Poultry Show*||$0||$10,000|
* Events that had already occurred by the time awards were granted.