Columbus, Ohio (November 14, 2012) – The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) applauds Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Council President Andrew J. Ginther and the city’s leadership for increasing public funding for Columbus’ arts and cultural organizations, and recognizing the important role they play in the economic vitality of the City. Under the 2013 budget plan released yesterday by Mayor Coleman the Greater Columbus Arts Council, along with tourism and human services sector, will receive additional funds from the bed tax which has historically supported the three sectors.
“This is an important first step in providing a funding solution for the arts and culture, and demonstrates the city’s dedication to making Columbus a vibrant destination with vital services for residents,” said Milt Baughman, President of GCAC. “We are grateful to everyone who has collaborated on this process–particularly city leadership and the Funding Review and Advisory committee members, as well as the arts, tourism and human services leadership.”
The recommendations include an increase of approximately $450,000 in 2013 for GCAC with an additional $100,000 earmarked to work with the city to establish a sustainable film commission effort and encourage filmmaking in Columbus. Currently non-profit arts and cultural organizations generate $226 million in economic impact annual in Columbus and support more than 8,500 jobs.
“The arts and tourism are important partners in providing a vibrant destination for visitors,” said Baughman. “A stronger arts community means a more attractive destination for tourism, and research shows that cultural tourists spend more and stay longer, having additional positive economic impact on the city.”
“Looking beyond 2013 we support the decision makers in their exploration and evaluation of additional funding source options to make Columbus’ arts and cultural sector truly sustainable,” stated Baughman.
The city is proposing redistributing its general fund portion of the bed tax to the three sectors. No increase in the bed tax was proposed. The budget will be presented to City Council on November 15.
About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their ongoing support.
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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein