So yesterday I attended a grants workshop held by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. It was an interesting experience on many fronts. For one thing, they are on a biennium grant schedule which means you apply this year for money for the next two years. Now for a laid back place like Hawaii, it seems strange that you have to get so organized you know what you are going to do for the next two years!
I can’t but think that they are essentially encouraging people to lie their butts off. Arts organizations make things up for annual grant writing, but it pretty much goes without saying a two year cycle essentially encourages people to try to fund their wildest dreams.
Now all this could be moot because of the (big surprise) arts funding problems in the state. When the arts foundation submitted their proposed budget in April/May, all their funds were frozen and remain so. There was a big uproar and the governor allocated money from health and human services earmarked for drug prevention for the arts foundation. (One of the criteria now for getting money is serving at risk youth)
Back in June or so I read a report that said Hawaii had the most per capita spending on the arts. (Which isn’t a heck of a lot given that there are only 1.2 million people living here, but still, a good proportion.) Ah how quickly they fall.
In any case, the people leading the workshop essentially said to live this year as if it were the last we were being funded because it probably is.