The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is asking City Hall for more money as it explores how to help local artists and nonprofits deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the council itself is grappling with a $95,000 hole in its budget.
In an emergency virtual board meeting on Thursday, Executive Director Joy Young said the CCGJ is asking the city for $200,000 for capital improvements and a 10% increase in funds for the Cultural Service Grant (CSG) Program, which funds local nonprofits.
Editorial Disclosure: WJCT is one of the grant recipients.
"Fewer artists will be employed. Our data demonstrates that well over 2,000 individuals are employed in our CSGs, and that does not include those contract workers," Young told the board. "We know that there are economic impacts."
On top of that funding request, which Young said she submitted to the city last week, the CCGJ is exploring other options, like relief packages, payroll tax reimbursements, and tax deductions to incentivize giving.
The council is also trying to figure out what to do about its annual awards ceremony, which is typically a significant source of fundraising.
With a 50 person limit on social gatherings in Jacksonville for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus, a traditional ceremony and party seems unlikely.