Summit County Council readies to approve $1.2 million in RAP tax grant projects
This year, there were 23 applications requesting close to $2 million total
Around 20 organizations in Summit County will likely receive a combined $1.2 million in grant funding as part of the 2022 cycle of the Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP) tax grant program.
The Summit County Council appeared on the cusp of authorizing the distribution of funds on Wednesday following recommendations from the county’s RAP cultural advisory committee, but concerns about consistency led the final vote to be delayed.
This year, there were 23 applicants requesting close to $2 million in total. With $1.2 million in grant money available, the committee initially recommended funding for 21 organizations, but the County Council asked for two requests to be denied based on late financial reporting from last year’s cycle. Around $8.8 million in arts and recreation-promotion grants were dispersed in 2021.
The county’s rule is that organizations filing late financial reports incur a 10% penalty the following grant year and reports submitted after Dec. 17, 2021 were automatically disqualified. Committee members told the County Council they awarded grant money to two applicants, the Park City Museum and Mountain Town Music, despite delayed reports. said unique circumstances prevented the Park City Museum from submitting the information on time and granted the organization funding. Mountain Town Music was also late in its reporting and would have received a 10% reduction in grant money.
The County Council was split on whether the two late reporting organizations should be considered for approval given that the restaurant tax advisory committee rejected two applicants for the same reason and ultimately decided to exclude them this year. Elected officials asked the RAP committee to redistribute the funds allocated to the organizations, which totaled $172,000, to other applications.
The committee will appear before the County Council soon for final approval once it determines how to reallocate grant money.
Applications are ranked using three criteria based on artistic and cultural vibrancy, public benefit and outreach, and organizational capacity. Organizations can earn up to 15 points depending on how well their project is rated in each category from noncompetitive to exceptional. Using the ranking system, as well as interviews and presentations, the committee makes a final recommendation to the County Council regarding how grant funds should be leveraged.
Summit County voters approved the RAP tax in 2000 and renewed it in 2010 as well as 2020. It is a .10% sales tax on certain goods used to support the funding for arts and recreation opportunities in Summit County. Eligible participants must work in the fields of arts education, dance, history, music, visual arts, theater, folk arts or related pursuits. They must be a registered nonprofit or a municipal or county cultural council, like the Arts Council of Park City and Summit County.
Funding requests this year ranged from $8,000 to $225,000, but many applicants did not receive as much money as they asked for to help spread it out.
Among the recipients that were recommended to receive the most funding are radio station KPCW, which could receive $110,000 toward producing two shows focused on arts and culture, hosting the Back Alley Bash and general operating expenses for its programming, as well as the Egyptian Theatre, which may receive $90,000 for general administration, performance and production costs, box office operations, school outreach and the YouTheatre program. The Kimball Art Center might be given $95,000 to be used for artist-in-residence programs, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, school outreach and more.
The Park City Film Council and Sundance Institute are two other recommended recipients. The organizations could receive $96,000 and $88,000, respectively, to help with operations and maintenance as well as community programming. Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter was initially approved for $88,000 to be allocated for salaries, general administration, educational programs and costs associated with exhibits.
The grant committee also recommended funding for the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation, which could be given $86,000, and the Park City Institute, which may receive $80,000. The organizations plan to use the funds for daily operations, creating educational programming, providing displays and more.
The Arts Council of Park City and Summit County may receive $85,000 in RAP tax funds to be used for collections and exhibits, contracted services, performances and production, general administration and salaries. Another $85,000 could go to the Deer Valley Music Festival and the Utah Symphony for production fees. Park Silly Sunday Market will also likely receive around $30,000 to be allocated for featured artist booths, performances and productions.
Committee members praised North Summit Unite, the Echo Community and Historical Organization and the Kamas Valley History Group for making substantial progress on their goals of bringing arts-and parks-associated programming to their communities.
North Summit Unite was recommended to receive $30,000 for programming, office expenses and contracted services. The group plans to host an event in mid-September that will encourage Summit County residents and visitors to learn about and celebrate the North Summit community. The organization hopes will become an annual gathering.
The Echo Community and Historical Organization and the Kamas Valley History Group could receive $9,500 and $8,500, respectively, to help maintain and improve historical sites, host events and fund other general operating expenses.
Ballet West was another organization recommended for funding. It was allocated $30,000 to support various programming and performances as well as administration and digital content costs. The unrelated Ballet Next may also receive $10,000 for performances and production, guest artist fees and some salaries.
RAP tax funds could also go to the Park City Chamber Music Society, which is expected to receive $15,000 for performances and outreach in the county. The grant committee also recommended $5,000 go to the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board for maintaining the pianos in public spaces program as well as performances and an additional $12,000 for the Latino Arts Festival.
The list of recommendations provided before the County Council meeting did not indicate which organizations applied for funding and did not receive any. Committee members on Wednesday said two applications weren’t recommended for the grants because of concerns about the lack of specificity in the funding requests and interviews, but they were encouraged to apply again next year.
While the governor touted state initiatives, members of the public questioned what Cox is doing to help with issues such as the labor shortage and affordable housing, open space, water and education.
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