Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations

Wednesday, April 01, 2009






Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations


April 1, 2009, 7:00 PM –Presentations from Applicants

 April 2, 2009, 7:00 PM-Proposed Allocations determined by Committee

Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street




The Citizen’s Budget Subcommittee meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm on April 1, 2009 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.




Committee members Lemhouse, Jackson, Navickas, Heimann, Silbiger and Boenheim were present.  









Silbiger/Lemhouse m/s Heimann as chair.  All ayes.











The Committee discussed that each presenter would be allowed 5 minutes.

Mr. Tuneberg suggested discussion at the end of the presentations on whether or not to allow presenters to use PowerPoint for their presentations.

He spoke that this year there is $157,079 available, $45,000 for tourism and $112,079 for non-tourism.  There are 22 applicants with a requested total of $302,970.


Ms. Jackson suggested emphasizing the economic benefit of applications and to try and save some of the funds for the City.  The States budget is down 25-30%.


Mr. Lemhouse spoke to the presenters that he would like them to state what the City will economically get back from their organization. 


Ashland Independent Film Festival- They thanked the City for their support.  They have over 300 volunteers in their organization.  This festival brings in many people from outside the area, 20% of the people attending the film festival will be from outside the 50 mile range.  The economic impact on the community in 2008 was $2.8 million.  During the 5 days of the festival there will be 136 events and 7 venues. 

Ms. Jackson questioned what scale of a festival can the % go down? They hope it will drop in future. Since their local business sponsorship dropped by half and other grants from around the area dropped 2/3 and they had to cut 20% if their budget.  They cannot give an exact percentage.  Ms. Boenheim questioned what the consequences would be if they didn’t get the funds requested?  They will do as much as they can with what they have.


ScienceWorks- Their economic impact is high due to there many programs some things they can impact are:  jobs, educators, event planners, marketing and management.  Some programs they are recommending this year a workforce development with their high school programs also after school programs. ScienceWorks reached 6000 tourists from 43 states in 2008 that is 15% of their visitation.  They reach 9 counties regularly.  They are asking for more this year due to more opportunities. They are offering new things such as a robotics competition. They have Astronomy course for seniors and an early childhood development exhibit. 


Southern Oregon Repertory Singers-They are proposing grant money for the Songs of Shakespeare Concert.  The money will help fund local actors and local musicians.  This year they are going to have new composition.  The benefit to the City is that when a piece of music is recorded it will indicate that the 1st performance was in Ashland.  They have been contacted by an organization that was interested in giving them an award in the effort of coordinated choral music. They have visited every senior complex in the city of Medford and try and bring groups to events.  They have since added 20-30 new people from the retirement homes to attend the events.   They are also working with the students at SOU at identifying where core group of sponsors and patrons are.  They are advertising to Mt. Shasta, Bend, Grants Pass, and Klamath Falls.    

Ms. Jackson questioned what the charge is for attending the concert?  They answered $15 for adults and $5 for students.  Package deals are available for retirement homes.


Southern Oregon Concert Band-They are the oldest and largest free music organization in the Rogue Valley.  They are celebrating 100 years of providing many concerts.  Thanks to the grant received last year they have been able to support and feature many local talents.  They performed in a joint concert with SOU symphonic band.  Their concerts benefit tourism by offering free performances.  Visitors are drawn to the diversity of their concerts.  Culturally they provide to hundreds of audience members each year.   This last December there were approximately 800 people who attended veteran’s concert.  Their concerts are always free to the public however they require significant costs for the band and rely on grants and donations.  All 63 members of the band are volunteers with age ranges from 14 to 93.


Ashland Community Theater- They have been around for many years have not applied for a grant for several years.  They do 4 productions a year which are readings. Their goal is to take some of the best readings and put them in full scale productions in Ashland.  They did a full production a year without a venue.  This year without a venue they still plan on doing a production (Charlottes Web).  With the tourism aspect they want to work with bed and breakfast and chamber of commerce about what their productions are with newsletters.  They have and advisory board of 12 members.  Their plays support local play writes. 


St. Clair Productions-This is their 10th annual blues festival which is held on Mr. Luther King weekend.  Without funding festival wouldn’t happen.  They stated that people come from all over and the better known artists they get the more people they can attract.  Venues feature 80 local musicians.  They purposely hold the event in January to honor Martin Luther and it is a community event to attract locals.  Still it is very diverse and attracts many others from other areas. 


The Jefferson Center-They thanked the City of Ashland for the prior grants they received.  As a result they can now give 4 lectures a year instead of 2.  They gave an overview of their upcoming programs.   The economic impact they bring is the lecturers come from out of the area the lecturers bring their families to the community.  They are an all volunteer no pay employee, and support employment for SOU staff, and the Tidings for advertising. 


Ballet Rogue-Ballet in the Park has been going on for 25 years.  They would like the grant money to replace the ballet floor.  They bring in tourists and locals who enjoy the dance experience.  Ballet in the Park has benefited the local economy and the cultural atmosphere in Ashland.  They thanked the Subcommittee for their support and time. 


Ashland Gallery Association-Ashland Gallery Association promotes locally owned small businesses.  Their goal is to showcase local talent and provide cultural opportunities for the community.  They draw in tourists to Ashland with their marketing all year round. Specifically they promote with First Fridays every month, and A Taste of Ashland which brings in many tourists.  They reach many people with their Gallery Guide as well.  Currently 64% of their patrons come from more than 50 miles away from Ashland.   The grant money would help to keep up with marketing.


Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon/KSKQ-The Multicultural Association is Ashland Community Radio, which is a program of the Multicultural Association.  They are a volunteer program and since last year they have had growth and increased their signal strength.  They are an information station such as emergency broadcast, road and school closures.  They are locally produced and have increased their number of producers.  Internet streams have doubled.  They have sponsored many local events.  They are requesting the grant to buy equipment to build the capacity of the radio station so they can do live remote broadcast.  They also need to improve their antennas. 


Siskiyou Singers-The Siskiyou Singers have been going for over 26 years.  They have 130 singers singing any time, 1/3 of the singers come from the outside of Ashland.  They put on an average of 6-8 concerts a year.  They also participate in the Feast of Will and Veterans Day Concert.  They have participated in joint concerts with other choirs to raise money for SOU and hold elder hostile classes. They advertise by their flyers and have a website.  They are requesting the money for rental space, music, and would like to increase what they already do by adding special events.  The City will benefit economically from the Siskiyou Singers by bringing people into the community.  They have low concert fees and many people come to see them.  If not granted the money they will have to raise ticket prices or registration fees and cut back on what is offered for the community. 


NAAPA/Le Cirque Center- The NAAPA would like to create a free circus performance and circus classes in the park that will be held this summer.  Their objective is to promote arts in Ashland and around the country.  The last 4 years they have developed a circus program which started with 10 students and now have over 100.  They are developing performers and diversifying entertainment.  Their programs are Educational program and performance program.  So far they have not had a show that has not been sold out.  They would like to develop a professional group of people that will go into other cities to perform and bring people into Ashland.  The grant is requested so they could offer more scholarships, and purchase a dome.  Their classes in the park are non-profit. 


Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon- They thanked the City for its support.  The Youth Symphony is made of community volunteers and is a non-profit organization dedicated to the youth where they learn and perform symphonic music.  It is a great program to get the youth involved and play music outside of school.


Oregon Stage Works-Oregon Stage Works is an Ashland Children’s Theater.  In an audience survey they found that they bring in 17% of audience members outside of the 50 mile radius.  Their theater brings in national visitors, trains employees and educates locally.  They are requesting the grant to reach bench marks such as building an audience, adding more programs and to keep Oregon Stage Works sustainable.  They want to build their marketing infrastructure.  There are 3 parts of Oregon Stage Works, the main stage production, play writes unit, and Ashland Children’s Theater.


Lithia Arts Guild of Oregon- Lithia Arts Guild put on events to enrich the community and boost the local economy. They are requesting this grant so they can continue to put on Mid-Summers Dream Festival as well as other annual events that require start up funds.  Mid-Summers Dream is a firmly established event that people in Ashland and surrounding areas look forward to and expect each summer.  It benefits the local economy in many ways through artists and musicians spending money locally as well as tourists and locals.  They have an arrangement with the Ashland school district which provides valuable education of the arts for the students. Their goal is to attract as many people possible and to diversify music.     


Thrive-Thrive is an organization that provides tools for families and businesses to make good decisions regarding the environment and the community.  They have a Thrive Rogue Flavor Campaign and a Food Connection program that tries to connect business together to help the local community.  Studies show that by spending dollars locally a high percentage of those dollars tend to stay in the local economy.   Thrive gives businesses the tools to be more sustainable and serve the local community.  Thanked the City for past support and contributions.

Ms. Jackson questioned what Thrive would do differently with the increased amount of money asked? They said would increase staff and use the money for two years worth of printing the Rogue Flavor Guide.


Ashland’s Bed and Breakfasts Association- They spoke to last years funding.  This year’s money is going to pay for an incentive program to attract new visitors by offering $50 dollars off coupons of their inns.  At the travel shows in Seattle and Los Angeles they were the only Ashland representatives.  The City needs more funding to market Inns to bring people here.  They want to bring more new and repeat visitors to Ashland.  To do so they would like to enhance their website.  The internet is the primary tool that visitors use to choose their destination and lodging.  They want to provide more information about the City, activities and attractions.  They want to generate more tax revenues due to more visitors and use the funds to leverage and expand


Rogue Valley Symphony-This is Rogue Valley Symphony’s 42nd season.   There has been a change in the grant request; instead of 2 guest conductors for 2 a 2 concert series they will have 5 conductors for their 5 concert series.  Their offices are located at SOU and 2/3 of their budget is spent here in Ashland. They have an economic impact of more then $800,000 in Ashland alone.  They do not bring as many people from 50 miles away due to the fact that are one of the few symphony’s that travel.  Predominately their impact to the area is cultural.  The symphony started as a community orchestra and has been continuing to grow to be a professional orchestra. 


Dancing People Company-This is a local non-profit fully professional dance organization that has been in the area for almost 4 years.  They are requesting funding for the annual Winter Solstice Production.  This production brings in community dancers with no experience and local musicians.  About 600 people attend this production yearly.  Each year their work is original.  The organization has had growth; they now have a studio in Ashland so they are able to expand class offerings.  They offer classes for all ages and have a high school residency program.  They have over 30 performances in the rogue valley. 


Rogue Opera-Thanked the City for support.  The Rogue Opera is requesting funds for the entire season which consists of 6 programs.  Last year they had people come from all over to be in one of their productions.  Their opera in the schools program reached over 18,000 students last year 246,000 students have scene it and they did 99 shows.  Their Singer education programs is based at SOU and SOU provides space for rehearsals, classes and workshops and Rogue Opera provides services to music students that would otherwise not be available due to the funding crisis at SOU.  Some students have chosen to go to SOU due to these programs.  This year they are spending 21% of their $270,000 budget in Ashland.  The economic impact they provide is their promotions and marketing that go out to thousands each year.


Ashland Artisan Gallery & Art Center-They are asking the City of Ashland to join in and invest in their Art Center.  They need this money to expand. They have a business plan that is going to create business, jobs and a dynamic.  This Art Center is a business about culture.  They will provide 150 artists with career development.  In terms of education they will provide after school programs, mentor programs, scholarship and residency programs.  They have multiple revenue streams in their business plan which will ensure their sustainability.  This expansion will include a much bigger space where they will have walk in art classes. They will also have retail and artist studios.  Ms. Jackson questioned if this would be one time request.  They answered not necessarily but it will be a one time capital request.  They are asking for 10% of their budget.    

Mr. Lemhouse asked for them to elaborate on teaching artists to become business people.  They explained that they will be training artists how to get basic skills of running a business such as getting a license and making a website.

Mr. Navickas questioned their confidence in the success of their business plan.  They feel confident that it will be successful.


The Imagine Project-The Imagine Project is an Ashland Historical audio walking tour.  This is a one time grant request to start up the project after that it will sustain itself.  This project will be active everyday through out the year and is geared for all ages of traveling groups.  The tours can be done in groups or individually.  There will be 3 tours; each tour will have a personal guide its one mile and an hour long. Two options will be provided; basic and expended informational tours.  The Ashland Springs Hotel will be where tourists pick up tour map and audio player.


Mr. Navickas expressed that he does not feel it is appropriate to allocate some of this grant money to the general fund.  Ms. Jackson stated that situations are different since last October and just felt it was appropriate to talk about. 


Mr. Tuneberg stated that we are following a resolution and if any changes need to be made it has to be agreed by the entire Committee. 


This meeting will be continued on April 2, 2009.




Mr. Heimann proposed starting with the most agreed and then work on to the most disagreed. 


ScienceWorks- They are a great education component to the City.  They agreed to the average. 


AIFF-The festival is growing and people from outside the area come in. They have a strong business plan.  They are great for tourism. 


St. Clair Productions- They have room to grow in the Blues scene and are bringing people in the Community.


Ballet Rogue- Unsure how much they are bringing into the City.  They are making a good investment with adding a new floor.


Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon- They have been consistent throughout the years. 


Ashland Artisan Gallery & Art Center- They have a good business plan.  They have stability with their buildings long term lease. If they cannot raise 50% of their budget’s capital that they need to continue with the business then they will only get half of the grant money up front.  Lemhouse/Jackson ms to give $10,000 now and $10,000 upon contract agreement for a total of $20,000.  All ayes.  Mr. Tuneberg explained that if they don’t follow through with the contract the money is returned and the City’s uses it for the subsequent fiscal year. 


THRIVE- They have a lot to offer but may not do a whole lot for tourism.  They are working with local restaurants with local growers so the money stays in connection with the Community.


Southern Oregon Repertory Singers- They bring unique music to the community.  They are based around locals and wouldn’t bring a lot of people or money in the Community.  They could still function without the money.  They didn’t have a strong plan for advertising. 


Southern Oregon Concert Band- Small events make our Community vibrant and enticing to tourists.  By maintaining the small events we continue to bring members to the Community.


Ashland Gallery Association-They have a strong history.


Ashland Bed and Breakfast Association- They advertise for people to come and enjoy all of Ashland not just their Bed and Breakfast.  They are fairly new and do not have a strong history of receiving grants.      


Rogue Valley Symphony- Symphony relies on grant monies.   As a society we should invest in the fine arts. 


Dancing People Company- They are able to fund living wage jobs for their workers so they are bringing money in and creating jobs. 


Rogue Opera- They are partnering with SOU and that will hopefully drive students to SOU.


The Imagine Project- They have a solid idea and a good proposed product but they may not bring much into the City’s economy.


Lithia Arts Guild of Oregon- They have a strong history and they support the Mid-Summers Festival. 


Oregon Stage Works- They were a little unclear as to where they are going.


NAAPA/Le Cirque Center- Not clear what the long term benefit would be for the City.


Siskiyou Singers- They need to do more for the Community. 


Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon/KSKQ- They are not adding to the economy.  They have a good to have historical prospective.  They are doing large shows that are fully Community oriented 24 hours a day.  Unclear as to what they will bring back in dollars for the Community.  


Southern Oregon Concert Band- They are not adding to the economy.


Ashland Community Theater- Interesting because they are doing readings which gives exposure to new plays. 


The Jefferson Center-They are not bringing people into Ashland or making an economic impact. 




Mr. Navickas spoke regarding Ashland Artisan Gallery & Art center.  He felt that they are a risky venture to grant money to.  The Committee stated that they felt that they could raise the money to meet their contingency. 

Boenheim/Lemhouse ms to adopt the prior motion of $20,000 with contingencies. All Ayes.


The Committee discussed that with the allocations how do we know if certain amounts will be used for tourism and will it be effective.  Should the Committee be allowed to change what the organizations use the money for, whether it be for Tourism or Economic & Culture.  The Committee discussed if they want to look at the allocation between Tourism, Economic and Cultural and make any shifts for someone that might be more readily to use the money in one category then the other.  Contracts would have to be reworded. 


Lemhouse/Jackson ms to give staff discretion to move the originally proposed tourism amounts around to the other two categories where staff sees fit and then revise the listing of the break down and e mail it to the Committee.  All Ayes.


The Committee discussed the use of PowerPoint’s for the presentations.  Some felt it took away from the speaker.  The most effective speakers were the ones who had a clear business plan.  The Committee stated that 5 minutes per speaker was too long, next time 4 would be better.









The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Melissa Huhtala

Administrative Secretary





City of Ashland
Economic and Cultural Development Grant
FY 2009-10
Funds Available:
Tourism  $          45,000
Non Tourism            112,079
Total Funding Available  $        157,079
Amount Requested Proposed Tourism Economic Cultural
AIFF  $          55,000       26,000     14,182                -     11,818
ScienceWorks              39,500       25,000     12,342         3,165       9,494
Southern Oregon Repertory Singers                5,500         2,500       1,136                -       1,364
Southern Oregon Concert Band                4,000                 -               -                -               -
Ashland Community Theater                4,000         2,500               -                -       2,500
St. Clair Productions              10,000         5,000       1,500                -       3,500
The Jefferson Center                5,000                 -               -                -               -
Ballet Rogue                5,000         5,000       2,250            500       2,250
Ashland Gallery Association              20,220       15,000       4,154         5,794       5,052
Multicultural Assoc. of So.Oregon/KSKQ              11,000                 -               -                -               -
Siskiyou Singers                6,000                 -               -                -               -
NAAPA/Le Cirque Center              10,000                 -               -                -               -
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon                5,000         4,000               -                -       4,000
Oregon Stage Works              10,000         5,500       1,650         1,925       1,925
Lithia Arts Guild of Oregon              11,500         6,079       1,824         2,432       1,824
Thrive              24,000       18,000               -       18,000               -
Ashland's Bed and Breakfasts Association              10,000         7,000       7,000                -               -
Rogue Valley Symphony              10,250         5,500            550       4,950
Dancing People Company                6,000         4,000       1,000         2,000       1,000
Rogue Opera              15,000         6,000               -         1,800       4,200
Ashland Artisan Gallery & Art Center              25,000       20,000         6,600     13,400
The Imagine Project              11,000                 -                -               -
Amount Requested  $        302,970  $ 157,079  $ 47,038  $   42,765  $ 67,276
Note: Ashland Artisan Gallery & Art Center will receive $10,000 at July 1, 2009, and will receive the remainder of the adopted amount after providing documentation, to the City, that they have secured 20% of their capital grant funding prior to June 30, 2010.




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