Item 6-I

Council Meeting: 2/25/97                Santa Monica CA

TO:       Mayor and City Council

FROM:     City Staff

SUBJECT:  Recommendation to Adopt the Proposed FY 1997-98
          Cultural Arts Organizational Support Grants Funding
          Strategy

INTRODUCTION
The City currently provides funding support to several cultural
and arts organizations in Santa Monica.  This report proposes a
Funding Strategy for guiding FY 1997-98 funding allocations.

BACKGROUND
The City's FY 1996-97 Adopted Budget provides a total of $138,015
in direct cash support to four Santa Monica-based cultural and
arts organizations - the Santa Monica Museum of Art, California
Heritage Square Museum, the Santa Monica Symphony, and the Santa
Monica Historical Society.  Programs offered by these agencies
ensure that Santa Monica's residents and visitors have access to
museums and cultural offerings which enrich their lives and
enhance the quality of life in the City.  FY 1996-97 marked the
first year of funding for the Santa Monica Historical Society
while three of the agencies funded have recieved similar support
in previous years. 

In the past, no formal process was in place for the distribution
of these funds.  Representatives from specific organizations
appeared before Council to request funding on an annual basis.  A
need to develop policies and procedures for ongoing operating
support grants to Santa Monica-based cultural and arts
organizations was first recognized in the Santa Monica Cultural
Arts Masterplan Update, adopted by Council in 1996.  During the
FY 1996-97 budget process, individual organizations appeared
before Council to request funding as they had in the past.  At
that time Council expressed a desire to create a more equitable
process which would meet the needs of the community-at-large
while ensuring the fiscal stability of the cultural organizations
which contribute to the City's environment.  

As a result, Council requested that City Staff prepare a process
for application for funds and present it to Council for their
approval.

DISCUSSION
The proposed FY 1997-98 funding strategy for Cultural Arts
Organizational Support Grants assumes a maintenance of effort
(MOE) funding level equivalent to FY 1996-97.  City staff
proposes to create a three year funding cycle in which
organizations must submit a renewal application and annual report
for continued support in each of the two following years. 
Criteria for funding has been developed by staff so that only
organizations with a demonstrated commitment to the City, a
proven track record, a solid funding base and a professional,
high quality, level of services will be eligible for this
support.  Attachment I provides the minimum eligibility
guidelines, selection criteria, funding term, and timeline
proposed to help guide application assessments and funding
recommendations for FY 1997-98.  

Staff proposes that FY 1997-98 be considered year one of the
three year cycle for the three organizations who have been
ongoing recipients in the past.  Minimum grant amounts should
reflect historical levels of past funding: Santa Monica Symphony,
$25,000; Santa Monica Museum of Art, $25,000; California Heritage
Square Museum, $13,015.  Renewal applications for these three
organizations that will continue to receive funding for the next
three years at FY 1996-97 levels will be available in February
with an April deadline.  Final funding decisions will be included
in the context of the FY 1997-98 budget process.

Remaining funds of $75,000 would be made available to applicants
meeting the eligibility criteria of the granting program. 
Applications for these funds would be available in February. 

All applications will be evaluated by City staff.  As with Human
Services grants, comments will be sought from professionals in
the fields of arts management, programming, and budget
development.  

FISCAL/BUDGETARY IMPACT
There are no immediate budget impacts proposed in this report. 
Projected FY 1997-98 fudning levels for the Cultural Arts
Organizational Support Grant Program assumes a maintenance of
effot funding level equivalent to FY 1996097.  Staff will return
for City Council approval with specific fund allocation
recommendations in the FY 1997-98 recommendations in the FY 1997-98 Proposed Budget to be released in early May of 1997.  A budget
adoption hearing will take plac ein June of 1997 when Council
will make final funding decisions.

RECOMMENDATION
Staff respectfully recommends that Council adopt the strategy for
the Cultural Arts Organizational Support Grant Program as
described.

Prepared by:   Barbara Stinchfield, Acting Director
               Mar¡a Luisa de Herrera, Cultural Affairs
Administrator
               Hamp Simmons, Cultural Affairs Administrative
Analyst

                          Attachment I
     FY 1997-98 CULTURAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT GRANTS
                  PROPOSAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

The following minimum eligibility guidelines, selection criteria,
funding term and review process and timeline are proposed to help
guide application assessments and funding recommendations for FY
1997-98:

Minimum Eligibility Guidelines: Applicants are eligible to apply
for grant funding through the City's Cultural Affairs Division if
they meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

    The applicant is a resident Santa Monica arts or cultural
     organization and has been based in the City for at least
     five years; and

    The applicant maintains tax-exempt status under Section
     501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and

    The applicant complies with Fair Labor Standards and pays
     professional performers, artists, and supporting personnel
     at least the minimum level of compensation paid to people
     employed in similar activities; and

    The applicant is in compliance with all Federal and local
     provisions regarding political and lobbying activities;

    The applicant has a diversified funding base with no more
     than 25% of their total cash funding derived from the City
     of Santa Monica.

Selection Criteria: Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated
according to how adequately applicants can demonstrate how their
programs address the following selection criteria:

    Offer programs of cultural and artistic excellence,
     indicated by providing promotional and other sample
     materials showing the overall history of the organization;

    Meet community needs by means of a range of diversity of
     programs;

    Links and collaborations with other Santa Monica-based arts
     and cultural organizations;

    Fulfill committment to the community;

    Domonstrate community's support of the organization
     documentation of audience, volunteer, and organizational
     demographics, general methods of community outreach, and
     attendence figures;

    Demonstrate viability and long-term stability by providing
     organizational budget documents including revenue breakdowns
     listing all major donors;

    Employ a professional staff;

    Provide accessibility of programming to the general public.

Funding Term: Once approved, funding may be renewed on an annuyal
basis for up to three years contingent upon available funds,
program performance, and City Council approval.

Timeline: The following timeline will be used in determinig
funding allocations for FY 1997-98:

January 14          City Council Adoption of the FY 1997-98
                    Cultural Arts Organizational Support Grant
                    Program Funding Strategy

February 7          Issue Applications

Mid - February Applicant Workshops (mandatory)

April 4        Applications due

April 8 - 29        Application Review Period

April 29       Release Draft FY 1997-98 Proposed Funding
               Recommendations for 30-day community Review Period

June 24        City Council FY 1997-98 Budget Adoption Public
               Hearing