Last fall, taxpayers voted on measure 9-94, a transient room tax increase that set aside funds to be distributed fairly among Bend's arts organizations. Nice job, taxpayers.
The opportunity to start a granting program for the arts that will potentially help to bolster tourism in shoulder seasons and winter months, diversifying tourism offerings and injecting Bend's cultural assets with a much-needed syringe of cold hard cash is a huge opportunity, said Doug La Placa, CEO of Visit Bend.
"Establishing public funding for the arts in Bend has been a long time coming," said La Placa. "It's exciting to finally have it in place."
Starting in 2015, any new or existing tourism programs will be eligible for grants: BendFilm, High Desert Museum, Tower Theatre, Deschutes Historical Society, music promoters, theater groups, public art curators, and beyond.
"Establishing public funding for the arts says a lot about our community's commitment to and support of the arts," said La Placa. "It takes money to cultivate extraordinary communities, and money for the arts has always been Bend's missing link." (BB)