City commission recommends $220,000 in grants be doled out to Richardson-centric arts organizations

Richardson Symphony Inc. is expected to receive the largest grant of $55,000. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Orchestra)
Richardson Symphony Inc. is expected to receive the largest grant of $55,000. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Orchestra)

Richardson Symphony Inc. is expected to receive the largest grant of $55,000. (Courtesy Richardson Symphony Orchestra)

There are 21 arts organizations expected to 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 have experienced significant revenue declines since the onset of the pandemic. City Council budgeted $220,000 for the grants in fiscal year 2021-22. In the years leading up to the pandemic, the city was awarding about $360,000 annually.

Last year, the city awarded $180,000 in grants.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic really had a significant impact on the hotel occupancy fund,” Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish told City Council at a Sept. 20 meeting.

Eligible organizations do not have to be located in Richardson; however, they must have a presence in the city. Plano Symphony Orchestra, for example, is not based in Richardson, but regularly performs at the city's Eisemann Center, Sims-Bradish explained. The commission also looks at whether the group is financially sound and if it demonstrated agility during the pandemic, Sims-Bradish said.


“Undoubtedly, the pandemic has been hard on all arts organizations, but many have found ways to keep going by modifying their season, modifying their offerings and working through financial challenges that enabled them to be in a good position,” she said.

Throughout the year, the commission works with grant awardees by providing workshops, promoting performances in Richardson and acting as a resource, Sims-Bradish said.

For the upcoming fiscal year, 25 arts groups applied for grants totaling $469,079. The commission is recommending that 21 of those groups receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $55,000.

Richardson Symphony Inc. is expected to receive the largest grant of $55,000, followed by Repertory Company Theatre at $39,000 and Richardson Theatre Center at $28,000.

City Council will vote on the commission’s recommendations at the Sept. 27 meeting. If approved, checks will be disbursed after the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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

Chamber Music International: $15,000

Chamberlain Ballet: $4,000

Contemporary Chorale: $3,000

Core Theatre: $6,500

Dallas Chinese Community Center: $9,000

DTX Dandiya: $1,000

Friends of the Richardson Public Library: $4,000

Lone Star Wind Orchestra: $4,000

Pegasus Theatre Incorporated: $6,500

Plano Symphony Orchestra: $5,000

Raas All-Stars: $5,000

Repertory Company Theatre Inc.: $39,000

Richardson Civic Arts Society: $5,800

Richardson Community Band: $7,000

Richardson Community Chorale: $3,500

Richardson Reads One Book: $3,700

Richardson Symphony Inc.: $55,000

Richardson Theatre Centre Inc.: $28,000

Rich-Tone Chorus: $4,000

Texas Winds Musical Outreach Inc.: $7,000

Tuzer Ballet: $4,000
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.


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