Note: items selected from TCA’s December 2018 newsletter — subscribe for yourself at http://www.arts.texas.gov/about-us/tca-newsletter/
Texas Commission on the Arts
TCA’s Next Budget to be Determined in Legislative Session
The 86th Session of the Texas Legislature will begin on Tuesday, January 8. Since the Texas Legislature meets biennially, it will make decisions on two years’ worth of State budgeting, including TCA’s budget for fiscal year 2020 (September 1, 2019-August 31, 2020) and fiscal year 2021 (September 1, 2020-August 31, 2021). As part of the budget process, TCA filed a Strategic Plan and Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR). The format of the LAR allows TCA to request the amount of its current two-year budget as the Base Appropriations Request, and to ask for additional Exceptional Items as additions to the budget for the coming two years.
TCA’s Legislative Appropriations Request is available in full here.
Base Appropriations Request: $12,636,076 over the biennium
Exceptional Items: $5,550,000 over the biennium (detailed below)
– Exceptional Item #1 – Restore Cultural Districts Project (CDP) Grants Base-Level Funding
TOTAL: $5,000,000 over the biennium. In 2017, the 85th legislature cut funding for this grant program entirely for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, despite the Office of the Governor’s and the Legislative Budget Board’s joint determination that this money was in fact part of the agency’s base level appropriations. Current and future cultural districts are in need of staffing support, infrastructure (signage and capital improvements), marketing budgets, and event underwriting. Adequate funding for this program is critical to ensure Texas’ competitiveness with respect to similar programs in neighboring states such as Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
– Exceptional Item #2 – Arts Healing Grants for Active Service Members and Veterans
TOTAL: $500,000 over the biennium. Texas is home to a significant and increasing number of active-duty service members and veterans, and their families, who experience severe physical and/or psychological hardships related to their military deployment. A wealth of research confirms the therapeutic benefits of arts-based programs for these constituents. Building on its experiences at the 2018 Texas Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference at Fort Hood, which included Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States, and Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, as participants, the agency is requesting grant funding for organizations to provide arts-based programming to serve these populations on active military bases and in their surrounding communities across the state.
– Exceptional Item #3 – CAPPS Financials Implementation
TOTAL: $50,000 over the biennium. The Comptroller of Public Accounts has selected the agency for transition to the CAPPS Financials module during the 2021 fiscal year. Based upon the Comptroller’s guidance, the agency has determined it is likely to incur significant out-of-pocket costs relating to the computer programming services necessary to ensure that its Grants Management System interfaces properly with the new CAPPS system. The agency also expects to incur a number of significant soft costs during this transition, but will absorb these costs within its current base-level funding and staffing levels.
The Texas Association of Business has endorsed TCA as part of their legislative priorities for economic development “to foster the growth of arts and culture industries throughout the state, resulting in job creation and increased cultural tourism. Restore funding to the TCA’s Cultural & Fine Arts District Program, which catalyzes economic development and community revitalization, leveraging additional public and private resources, enhancing the quality of life for residents and attracting tourists.”
TCA’s Legislative Appropriations Request will be considered as part of House Bill 1. After the Legislature convenes on January 8, committee appointments will be made. The Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee will review TCA’s LAR and discuss all requested amounts. The Legislative Session will end on May 27, 2019.
New Grants Approved
On December 5, TCA Commissioners approved funding of 116 grants in the second funding round for fiscal year 2019. The grants total over $135,000 and will go to nonprofits and units of government in 53 cities. These grants include the quarterly Arts Respond Performance Support program and the quarterly Commission Initiatives and Designated Funding program. TCA’s full list of fiscal year 2019 grants is here.
Arts Respond Performance Support grants provide partial support to help applicants host an artist from the Texas Touring Roster in their community. The 111 grants for this quarter total $107,363 and will go to 92 organizations and units of government in 51 Texas cities. Recipients include organizations, libraries, and schools across the state, including those in rural communities like Monahans, Livingston, Paris, and Seminole.
The Commission Initiatives and Designated Funding program distributed $12,500 to the Mid-America Arts Alliance for their programs serving Texas audiences, artists, and organizations such as the Artist Inc. training program and the Exhibits USA touring exhibitions program. An additional $16,000 was approved to support spring rural tours by four Texas Touring Roster artists. Each artist will receive $4,000 to give six free public performances that will serve designated rural counties in the Panhandle, west Texas, southeast Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley between March 1 and May 31.