Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Maria Whyte, Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, in announcing the release of Erie County’s 2013 Cultural Funding Application. The streamlined and well-organized three-page application, developed with input from cultural organizations, will be due to the Department of Environment and Planning by 5:00pm on July 6, 2012.
“Cultural institutions, both large and small, play a significant role in our region’s economy and overall quality of life,” said Poloncarz. “ Rather than arbitrarily deciding who should get County funding like the prior administration did, we have developed a new application process to appropriation funding for our cultural institutions that is objective and based on need and merit.”
In 2010, the Collins administration chose to drastically reduce the level of operational support allocated to cultural organizations by the County—cutting all funding to the smaller organizations in favor of ten larger organizations that the former-county executive personally deemed regionally significant. In addition, Collins chose to dissolve the Erie County Cultural Resources Advisory Board (“ECCRAB”), which was designed to make objective decisions on cultural funding levels. As part of the 2012 Adopted Erie County Budget, County Executive-elect Poloncarz worked with the Erie County Legislature to restore more than $930,000 in operational funding for 37 smaller culturals that were defunded since 2010.
As County Executive, Poloncarz pledged to create a new funding process that would be utilized for the 2013 Erie County Budget to ensure all cultural institutions throughout Erie County had the opportunity to compete for County support, with final decisions being made in a fair and equitable manner. Over the past several months, Commissioner Whyte has worked closely with the cultural community to recreate such a process.
“I am thrilled to release Erie County’s 2013 Cultural Funding Application,” said Maria Whyte, Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.“The department worked hard to incorporate the feedback we received from organizations who apply for County funding. As a result, the application process has been greatly streamlined, while also requesting all the information needed to justify the use of public funds.”
The new application features clearly stated eligibility requirements, descriptions of various documentation necessary to be considered for funding, and a twelve-question series of essays. The essays focus on organizational mission, programs, and services; organizational planning and evaluation; organizational governance and staffing; and organizational reports on marketing and attendance.
The new application is available online at http://www2.erie.gov/
On Tuesday June 5, 2012 the Department of Environment and planning will host an “Applicant Briefing” event to answer any questions on the new process at 2:00pm in Room 1404 of the Edward A. Rath County Office Building.