Richardson awards $180,000 in cultural arts grants

Richardson Symphony Inc. is one of several arts groups in Richardson that will receive a grant from the city in fiscal year 2020-21. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Inc.)
Richardson Symphony Inc. is one of several arts groups in Richardson that will receive a grant from the city in fiscal year 2020-21. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Inc.)

Richardson Symphony Inc. is one of several arts groups in Richardson that will receive a grant from the city in fiscal year 2020-21. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Inc.)

Twelve cultural arts organizations will receive grants from the city of Richardson in the upcoming fiscal year.

Arts grants are funded through taxes levied on the city’s hotel properties, which took a significant hit in revenue when tourism dropped off earlier this spring. City Council budgeted $180,000 for arts grants in fiscal year 2020-21, which is about half of what has been awarded in previous years.

Despite this reality, the city has prioritized support of local arts groups so they can be viable once the crisis is over, Mayor Paul Voelker said.

“These cultural arts [organizations] are the heart and soul of our city, and it’s really important they get the funding necessary to get through this difficult time to at least stay alive and vibrant,” he said.

Arts groups were warned in advance that funding would be limited this year, Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish said. Only organizations that have been awarded grants in the past were considered, she added.

The commission received 21 applications totaling $362,600. The commission is recommending Richardson Symphony Inc. receive the largest grant of $55,000. Other awardees include Richardson Theater Centre, Richardson Community Chorale and Arts Incubator of Richardson, among others.

Council Member Kyle Kepner, who serves as a liaison to the Richardson Cultural Arts Commission, said the aftermath of the pandemic will likely result in at least two years of hamstrung finances for local arts groups. For future years, the city is considering awarding funding in installments rather than through a single payment in October, Sims-Bradish said.

“To be realistic, we are going to have a more difficult year next year,” Kepner said.

City Council approved the commission’s grant recommendations on consent at the Sept. 14 meeting. Checks will be disbursed after Oct. 1, Sims-Bradish said.

A full list of the commission's grant recommendations can be found below.

  • Arts Incubator Richardson: $3,000

  • Chamber Music International: $7,000

  • Dallas Chinese Community Center: $10,000

  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra: $4,000

  • Repertory Company Theatre Inc.: $45,000

  • Richardson Civic Arts Society: $6,000

  • Richardson Community Band: $5,000

  • Richardson Community Chorale: $3,000

  • Richardson Reads One Book: $2,000

  • Richardson Symphony Inc.: $55,000

  • Richardson Theatre Centre Inc.: $35,000

  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach Inc.: $5,000

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Cottonwood Market houses over 300 vendors. (Courtesy Cottonwood Market)
Richardson Mercantile changes name, under new ownership

The store changed its name to Cottonwood Market in late August.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Pet adoptions in August were up by 10% year-over-year. (Courtesy city of Richardson)
Richardson Animal Shelter sees a 94% adoption rate in August

The increase in August was in part due to the Clear the Shelter event, a weeklong adoption drive.

The upcoming Starbucks location will open along US 380 in Frisco. (Courtesy Starbucks)
New coffee shops in Frisco, Plano plus more popular DFW news

Read popular news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hot Crab is now serving seafood dishes in Richardson. (Courtesy Hot Crab)
Seafood eatery Hot Crab opens in Richardson and more DFW news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Almost Home Animal Rescue's Heather Weeks, left, and Amy Desler pick up North Texas Giving Day yard signs. (Courtesy Kim Leeson/Communities Foundation of Texas)
North Texas Giving Day to aid more than 3,300 nonprofits

The 18-hour online event organized by Communities Foundation of Texas allows people to support local nonprofits and causes.

One in five children and adults have a learning disability, according to statistics from the National Center for Learning Disabilities. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: National Center for Learning Disabilities expert discusses challenges of special education, remote learning during pandemic

The NCLD's director of policy and advocacy spoke about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on special education students and their development in and out of the classroom.

Hot Crab is now serving seafood dishes in Richardson. (Courtesy Hot Crab)
Hot Crab seafood restaurant now open in Richardson

The restaurant serves Cajun dishes, Northeast-style seafood and New American food.

Alexandria Marquez teaches first grade students from an empty classroom at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet. (Courtesy Richardson ISD)
Richardson ISD students, staff work through the kinks of remote, in-person learning

Adjustments made to several key areas of district operations are outlined in this story from Community Impact Newspaper's September edition.

Richardson makes headway on major trail projects

The city has invested millions of dollars in extending its local and regional trails system.