The Special Events and Cultural Amenities fund provides groups with funding from a 1% city-wide food and beverage tax resulting in about $1.9 million available.
SECA received around $2 million requested in funding, but after fulfilling five existing agreements they only had about $500 thousand to go around.
The Advisory Cultural Commission’s job is to allocate those funds, but with programs ranging from the Xilin Lantern Festival to the St. Patrick’s Day 5k requesting support, some wondered whether the commission was headed in the right direction.
“Think about whether we are supporting not-for-profits or we are providing cultural amenities and special events? That was sort of the theme last workshop, but I think it’s something that we need to remember that the task of this commission is not to be benevolent but to provide Naperville with cultural amenities and special events,” said Rebecca Boyd-Obarksi, Council Representative for the Advisory Cultural Commission.
Though the commission came up with recommendations as to which events to fund and for what amount, some local staples like Naper settlement, the Dupage Children’s Museum and Century Walk fell short of their requests.
Chairman of the board, Rick Grimes, agreed changes need to be made moving forward.
“The good news is, between staff, council this year, this group, we’ve got a lot of people who are willing to work together, get some ideas out there and probably make some changes,” said Grimes.
Some of those ideas already came about at this meeting as the commission worked on forming a new mission statement to better align the goal of the SECA funds.
The commission will review their final recommendations at a workshop on Saturday, February 13th, with a chance for each applicant to address the board.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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