A&P Commission awards nearly $140,000 during fall 2015 funding meeting

Fall A&P funding amounts

 AwardedRequestedMore info
2014$155,922$561,522Full story
2013$261,880$421,980Story 1, 2
2012$145,328$293,115Full story
2011$182,828$388,745Full story
2010$222,176$737,295Full story

Source: Staff report

Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commissioners awarded $138,492 to help fund 22 projects during its regular fall special funding meeting Monday afternoon.

Twice each year, the commission awards non-budgeted funds to groups needing financial help with promoting or starting an event.

TheatreSquared received the largest award of $15,000 for expected marketing costs of the performance group’s upcoming season.

Other high amounts went to the 18th Annual Weekend of Champions baseball, soccer and softball event ($14,294) and the Arkansas High School Outdoor Track State Championships ($12,000). Both events, which are expected to draw thousands of participants and crowds, are organized by Fayetteville High School.

Local arts collective Art Amiss received a $10,450 grant to put toward creation of a three-day independent music festival in March 2016.

See below for a full list of projects considered, including brief descriptions, award amounts and comments from commissioners, or download all proposals here (PDF).

Fall 2015 A&P Funding Awards

  1. 2nd Annual NWA Senior Showcase Ring Ceremony – Request: $5,000 | Award: $1,600
    Arkansas Alumni Classic, Inc. requested $5,000 to purchase rings and fees related to a planned ring ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 2016 Northwest Arkansas High School Basketball Senior Showcase event on March 18, 2016. Commissioners questioned how many visitors the event would bring to town, and ultimately decided to pay only for the organizers’ expected venue rental fee. They said if the event proves to be a tourist draw this year, then maybe the group could receive more help next time.
  2. Huge Lightning Comedy Festival – Request: $4,500 | Award: $1,750
    The Arkansas Comedy Collective requested $4,500 to cover costs for promotion, a website, and a logo for the Huge Lightning Comedy Festival set for May 6-7, 2016 at Fayetteville Underground. Commissioners like the idea of the festival, and agreed to help pay for some of the organizers’ planned marketing initiatives.
  3. Art Amiss 2016 Expansion Program – Request: $23,750 | Award: $10,450
    Art Amiss requested $23,750 to cover costs associated with four planned events and initiatives in 2016: a three-day independent music festival, an artist residency, a creative awards showcase, and publication of an annual zine and cassette tape package. Commissioners were excited about the idea of the music festival, which organizers said would include several concerts featuring national touring bands with a strong local and regional draw. The group agreed to fund the majority of the planned budget for the music festival, but held off on funding the other initiatives.
  4. Arts Live Theatre – Production Season – Request: $2,550 | Award: $2,550
    Arts Live Theatre requested $2,550 for the promotion of its main and second stage productions during the winter and spring 2016 season. Commissioners agreed to fund the organization’s entire request.
  5. Chilirhea – Request: $11,559 | Award: $0
    Organizers of the annual Chilirhea chili cook-off requested $11,559 to help expand promotion of the Feb. 20, 2016 event, which aims to donate all proceeds to Alzheimer’s Arkansas and the Alzheimer’s Association. Organizers were given $2,000 from the commission last year, but commissioners decided not to help fund the event this time around. Several commissioners said they loved the event, but felt like it had reached a level of success that no longer required assistance from the commission.
  6. Keep Fayetteville Beautiful – Request: $8,300 | Award: $0
    The City of Fayetteville requested $8,300 for artist fees and supplies associated with a plan to paint murals on eight electrical boxes and three bridges in Fayetteville. Commissioners decided to table the request until its public art subcommittee completes an ongoing study into whether the Fayetteville Arts Council can help jury public art funded by the commission.
  7. Ladies Du Fayetteville – Request: $2,500 | Award: $1,000
    Fayetteville Parks and Recreation requested $2,500 to help launch Ladies Du Fayetteville, a womens run/bike/run duathlon to be held May 22, 2016 at Veteran’s Memorial Park and the surrounding paved trails. The commission agreed to help fund a portion of the event’s expected marketing budget.
  8. Community Creative Center – Request: $15,000 | Award: $5,000
    The Community Creative Center requested $15,000 for another year of support for annual marketing initiatives, which include raising awareness of CCC, increasing classes, and attracting artists to its studio spaces. Commissioners said they value the organization’s yearlong series of events, but agreed to continue a trend of trimming the funding award down a bit from the previous years (CCC received $10,000 last year).
  9. History Comes Alive – Request: $7,500 | Award: $1,000
    The Fayetteville Evergreen Cemetery Association requested $7,500 for script research, writing, costume rental and promotion of “History Comes Alive,” a two-day event where local actors will portray 10 people buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Fayetteville’s first cemetery where many local historical figures were laid to rest. Commissioners said while the event isn’t likely to be a large draw for tourists, they liked the idea that it could generate interest in the historical significance of the cemetery, which could one day lead to more visits.
  10. Fayetteville Underground – Request: $40,000 | Award: $6,830
    Fayetteville Art Alliance requested another $40,000 for a fourth year of funding to support operational expenses at the Fayetteville Underground. Commissioners said they’re growing frustrated by the lack of self-sufficiency displayed by the gallery, whose management has promised to stop requesting funds for two years in a row. Commissioners said it was only fair to begin a sunset of funds, which, to date, have totaled $128,000.
  11. Weekend of Champions – Request: $14,294 | Award: $14,294
    Fayetteville High School officials requested $14,294 for rental costs, personnel and security fees, hotel rooms and cleanup costs related to the 18th Annual Weekend of Champions baseball, soccer and softball event, set for May 20-21, 2016 at Baum Stadium, Bogle Park, and Razorback Soccer Field on the University of Arkansas campus. Commissioners noted that without the support of A&P funds, the two-day event, which draws thousands of tourists to the city each year, could no longer be held in Fayetteville, and would instead be moved to another city. For this reason, the commission chose to fully fund the request.
  12. Arkansas High School Outdoor Track State Championships – Request: $12,000 | Award: $12,000
    Fayetteville High School officials requested $12,000 for stadium rentals, personnel and cleanup costs associated with the Arkansas High School Outdoor Track State Championships, set for May 9-10, 2016 at John McDonnell Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus. Commissioners chose to give a full award to the organizers in hopes that the event will be as successful as the Weekend of Champions.
  13. Joe Martin Stage Race and Gran Fondo – Request: $75,000 | Award: $9,080
    Officials with the Joe Martin Stage Race requested a $75,000 presenting sponsorship from the A&P Commission for the Joe Martin Stage Race and Gran Fondo events, set for April 21-24, 2016 at various locations around Fayetteville. Organizers said the longtime event is in danger of being canceled without the replacement of two longtime sponsors, which totaled $62,500 in support. Commissioners said Monday they would hate to see the race fold, but added that a single $75,000 request was too much to ask for an event that has only been given a total of about $60,000 over the past 12 years. The group agreed to fund the $9,080 sanctioning fee for the race, but stipulated that the money be returned if the event doesn’t occur.
  14. Hands of Compassion Gala – Request: $11,000 | Award: $0
    LifeSource International requested $11,000 for rental fees, catering costs, and other funds needed for the Hands of Compassion Gala, the organization’s largest annual fundraising event, set for April 26, 2016 at the Fayetteville Town Center. Commissioners said they weren’t willing to distribute A&P funds to an event that was strictly a fundraiser, and that wouldn’t likely draw any tourists to the city.
  15. NWA Juggling Festival – Request: $2,725 | Award: $1,525
    NWA Juggling Festival organizers requested $2,725 to help support the 22-year-old event, set for April 8-10, 2016 at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center, Devil’s Den, and a to-be-determined theater. Commissioners were excited to hear that the festival would be returning for another year and said they were proud the city was home to such a unique event. The group agreed to give $1,525 to pay for the expected venue rental fee.
  16. NWA Pride 2016 – Request: $10,000 | Award: $6,000
    The NWA Center for Equality requested $10,000 to help pay for marketing fees related to six NWA Pride events, set for June 16-19, 2016 in Fayetteville. Several commissioners said they were proud that Fayetteville was becoming known as a welcoming city to the LGBT community, and agreed to pay $6,000 toward the marketing of the group’s planned events in 2016.
  17. Creative Exchange Conference – Request: $6,000 | Award: $5,500
    The NWA Creative Arts Network requested $6,000 for rental fees and marketing costs associated with the Creative Exchange Conference, a multi-disciplinary arts conference set for Aug. 4-6, 2016 at various venues around Fayetteville. The commission agreed to pay $5,500 for expected venue rental costs and about half of the event’s marketing budget.
  18. 2016 NWA Local Food Guide – Request: $5,000 | Award: $5,000
    Ozark Slow Food requested $5,000 for partial reimbursement of the cost to print the 2016 NWA Local Food Guide, a free booklet with lists of farms, farmer markets, restaurants, and other businesses that promote, buy and use local food. Commissioners gave a full award to the guide, and said it’s something the commission should want to fund with or without a partnering organization.
  19. SoNA 2015-16 Season – Request: $20,000 | Award: $10,000
    Symphony of Northwest Arkansas officials requested a $20,000 season sponsorship package from the A&P Commission to help promote the 2016 concert season of classical and pops repertoire. Commissioners said being listed as an event sponsor is not as attractive to the commission as it is to some businesses. But, they added, orchestra fans tend to be big spenders, and helping fund the season reap a healthy reward in terms of tax revenue.
  20. The Art Experience & Puppets in the Park – Request: $16,895 | Award: $6,413
    The Art Experience, Inc. requested $12,720 to help fund its annual promotional budget, and $4,175 for the 2016 Puppets in the Park event at Wilson Park. Commissioners said they saw a major increase in attendance of this year’s Puppets in the Park event after awarding $5,000 to the organization in 2014. They upped their award this year in hopes that continued seeding of the organization’s infrastructural elements might help add capacity for more initiatives in the future.
  21. The Natural State of Health – Request: $2,500 | Award: $1,000
    Organizers of the annual Natural State of Health expo requested $2,500 to help promote next year’s event, set for May 7, 2016 at either the Fayetteville Town Center, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, or TriCycle Farms. Commissioners said while the event is mostly a networking event that connects businesses to potential customers, they wanted to at least give the same amount they awarded in 2014 because the organization has expressed interest in marketing to more non-local residents which could bring in more tax dollars on the day of the event.
  22. Ozark Brews and Heritage Music Festival – Request: $10,000 | Award: $5,000
    The Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas requested $10,000 for promotional and printing costs needed to expand the 14th annual music festival formerly known as Blues in the Natural State, set for April 2, 2016 at George’s Majestic Lounge, to include local microbrewery partners. Commissioners said they want to start sunsetting the amount award to the event, but liked the idea of a reboot with a local beer element.
  23. The Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks – Request: $25,000 | Award: $7,500
    Organizers of The Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks requested $25,000 to help promote their event, set for April 16-17, 2016 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Commissioners said they wanted to up their award this year (they gave $2,000 in 2014) to see the added support can help the event grow into the type of Renaissance festival that draws large amounts of people from all over the region.
  24. TheatreSquared – Marketing 2016 – Request: $30,000 | Award: $15,000
    TheatreSquared officials requested $30,000 in promotional funding for continued marketing outside the state. This year’s award to TheatreSquared was less than last year, but commissioners said it’s not a message that funding for the organization is on the decline. Several commissioners expressed interest in creating line items in the A&P budget to provide perpetual funding for groups like TheatreSquared continuously draw visitors to the Dickson Street entertainment district.
  25. Hillcrest Towers Mural – Request: $5,800 | Award: $0
    Local artist Tina Oppenheimer requested $5,800 for paint and supplies needed to create a mural on the wall along the street at Hillcrest Towers Senior Center. Commissioners said recent conversations with Oppenheimer revealed the location for the mural was no longer an option. They also said the request was similar to the Keep Fayetteville Beautiful proposal that was tabled to allow the A&P public art subcommittee time to complete its assessment into into whether the Fayetteville Arts Council can help jury public art funded by the commission.
  26. Artosphere – Request: $20,000 | Award: $10,000
    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 2016 Artosphere Arts & Nature Festival, set for May 5-27, 2016 at various locations around town. Commissioners gave $10,000 toward the event, the same award given for this year’s festivities.