The money brought a 2% increase in tax with 1% of it going to the
Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau and 1% going toward the arts. That
$340,000 was then divided, with 20% of it going to regranting arts
organizations, 20% going to the arts commission and 60% being awarded
to arts organizations that met certain criteria.
This was the first year for the business improvement tax, which
was implemented in July. Today is the deadline for applications for
the coming year.
"A total of $52,800 was awarded to nine organizations," Poeschl
said. "The application states that the primary goal is to promote and
encourage cultural activities, to develop cultural programs,
encourage artistic excellence and develop new audiences for the
The arts commission reviews the applications and presents their
recommendations to the City Council.
To qualify, an organization must be nonprofit and meet the
cultural needs of the city for a new or expanded service not being
provided, Poeschl said.
The cultural arts funding for 2002-03 was as follows: California
Choreographers Dance Festival received $5,700; First Thursday's Art
Walk, $4,000; Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts, $15,000; Laguna
Community Concert Band, $3,700; Laguna Beach Live, $1,600; Laguna
Outreach Community Arts, $6,200; No Square Theatre, $7,700; and the
Sawdust Art Festival, $8,600.
Laguna College of Art and Design was granted $300, but declined it
because it received other funds through the business improvement
"We're so pleased to receive that grant," said Rebecca Meekma,
media relations for Sawdust Festival. "It's allowed us to expand
programming. For example, Spring Art Walk will be two days instead of
just one. Hopefully, people will come for both days for Art Walk and
spend both days in Laguna."
Carol Reynolds of the Laguna Community Concert Band said that the
grant has made concerts such as the patriotic concert they're
performing this Sunday possible.
Laguna Outreach Community Arts has been one of the most impressive
organizations and established a completely new program. With their
portion of the funds, they created Art Escapes, art workshops for