Coronavirus: :

What You Need to Know

What's Closed:

Updated List of Northeast Florida Closures, Cancellations, and Postponed Events

On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
69°
Sunny
H 84° L 56°
  • cloudy-day
    69°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 84° L 56°
  • clear-day
    66°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 84° L 56°
  • clear-day
    70°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 74° L 55°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Cultural Council pushes for more funding, after Mayor’s proposal leaves their budget flat
Close

Cultural Council pushes for more funding, after Mayor’s proposal leaves their budget flat

Cultural Council pushes for more funding, after Mayor’s proposal leaves their budget flat

Cultural Council pushes for more funding, after Mayor’s proposal leaves their budget flat

It’s about taking a thriving sector, and bringing it to the next level. 

That’s what the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville has to say about their request to Jacksonville’s City Council to give them more grant funding to distribute, with budget hearings set to kick off in the coming days. 

“To show that cultural investment in our city, and the arts and culture sector, and all these great organizations that are doing great work, are invested in,” says Cultural Council Executive Director Tony Allegretti. 

The Cultural Council’s budget in Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s $1.2 billion budget proposal stays flat year-over-year, at close to $2.85 million. Of that, there is some funding for Art in Public Places and money for the Cultural Council to administer the grant program, leaving about $2.4 million in actual grant funding to distribute. Allegretti says they’ve had more arts and culture organizations coming forward to seek that funding- with the total now at 27 groups- and the dollar amount is not increasing to accommodate that. 

“Every year that we have level funding, the amount of funding for individual orgs goes down,” he says. 

He says the ordinance that the Cultural Council operates the grant program under says that eligible organizations should get funding, so they make a point of supporting those who qualify. The grants are for operational funding, with Allegretti saying they support the Jacksonville Symphony, the Cummer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Science and History, and many others. 

“Every cultural event that you attend in Jacksonville, typically is supported by these grants,” he says. 

Allegretti says the arts and culture sector is thriving- both creating jobs and quality of life in the City. He believes that giving more funding and support for these organizations would have “profound” results. 

“We want to do good work, we just want to do more of it,” he says. 

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee is poised to begin their deep dive of Curry’s budget proposal, which will include hearing requests from organizations like the Cultural Council on why they should get more funding. Allegretti says they’re asking for an additional million dollars, to bring them back to a level they were before facing years of cuts and flat funding.

Curry and the Council are not raising your property tax rate this year, so finding the additional money for the Cultural Council would take some maneuvering within the funds that are already allotted. In a budget that Curry says prioritizes public safety and infrastructure, that could prove to be a difficult battle.

Allegretti says they’re thankful to be a part of the City budget and to have the continued investment. He says when the City budget has been tight, they haven’t fought, but they’re holding out hope for a little more this time. 

“Hopefully, there will be some way to convince them [City Council members] that this extra, tiny part of the City budget is worth the while,” he says. 

Allegretti is also calling on you to support the arts and culture, and do research on which lawmakers do as well. He says funding from the State was “slaughtered” this year, and he’s hoping to find more support in the future.


IMPORTANT! Funding for Duval County Arts and Culture Organizations Requires Your Action, Now! This week, Mayor Lenny...

Posted by Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville on Friday, July 27, 2018

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • Ahead of an approaching cold front, Northeast Florida saw a line of strong storms roll through. Some of those storms prompted severe thunderstorm warnings and a few tornado warnings from the National Weather Service of Jacksonville. The NWS does believe an EF-0 tornado did touch during in northern St. Johns County on Tuesday evening. At this time, WOKV has not received any reports of injuries, but there have been reports of damage and downed trees.
  • Following the recent passage of a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus measure to help families and businesses with the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic, WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is breaking down some of the finer details. Howard says adults making up to $75,000 a year will get a $1,200 check, while a married couple making up to $150,000 will get $2,400, with $500 payments per child.  STORY: Are you getting a stimulus check; how much will it be? Use this calculator to find out However, Howard says that $500 payment doesn't include every child.  'You will not get money for your teenager. So, once your teenager goes past 16, they're out of the picture for the $500,' explains Howard.  Howard says this $500 payment also does not apply to other types of dependents, like if you're an adult taking care of your elderly parents.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts by clicking HERE.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is working hard to make sure people throughout the state who are unemployed are getting the assistance they need during the coronavirus pandemic. That means hiring more staff members to help people who are trying to apply for unemployment benefits. Executive Director Ken Lawson signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor over the weekend to execute the CARES Act in Florida. Lawson says his staff is working hard to implement those resources to Floridians as soon as possible. The week before most businesses closed due to government orders, the Department of Economic Opportunity received 28,000 calls. Last week in just four days, they received 130,000 calls. That higher volume of calls is overwhelming the staff, but it looks like help is on the way. Anyone who calls right now should expect to wait on hold for upwards of an hour, but hopefully that wait time starts dropping soon. The Department of Economic Opportunity is hiring 100 people statewide to answer calls, walk people through the application process, and handle processing applications. Florida residents eligible for reemployment assistance include people quarantined by a medical professional or government agency, people who have been laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period of time or people caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with coronavirus. Any Floridian whose employment has been negatively impacted by the virus can get more information here.
  • Isolation and fear during the coronavirus pandemic can create the perfect storm for domestic abuse. Some experts say victims are like prisoners in their own homes during quarantine.  “We’re talking about a horrible situation. People who normally might be able to call us, reach out to us, stop at our outreach center or go to work and look online to find how they can get help are prisoners in their own home,” Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin, EdD, LCSW, said.  Anyone who needs help and can safely get away from their abuser is asked to call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or Hubbard House in Jacksonville at (904) 354-3114.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for a suspect they say is wanted for solicitation to commit first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police identify the suspect as 23-year-old Bobby Taylor.  If you've seen him or know where he is, you're urged to call JSO at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

The Latest News Videos