Broward County Commission Approves Nearly $5 Million for Cultural Grants

Broward County Commission Approves Nearly $5 Million for Cultural Grants Amidst challenges, Broward maintains investment in the arts and culture sectorAs part of the fiscal year 2021 budget hearing, the Broward County Board of County…

Broward County Commission Approves Nearly $5 Million for Cultural Grants

Amidst challenges, Broward maintains investment in the arts and culture sector

As part of the fiscal year 2021 budget hearing, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners approved the Cultural Division’s budget of $4,869,660 for grant programs, maintaining the previous year’s funding level.

This renewal reflects the Commissioners’ commitment to investing in Broward’s arts and culture sector at a time when funding is more necessary than ever.

The County Commissioners understand that arts and culture are critical for a healthy economy. With their support, the Cultural Division is committed to continued investment in the community’s growth and support of the arts and culture sector.

I am grateful to the Commissioners and to the entire Cultural Division team, who have worked tirelessly to sustain the cultural community in innovative and creative ways. We must ensure its continued viability.

To learn how we’ve worked to support the arts throughout the pandemic, I invite you to join me live online at our Annual Cultural Forum on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 4-5pm.

Broward’s artists and arts organizations have not only survived but have found creative ways to thrive and expand access and programing to our community during a time of great challenge.

We thank our Commissioners and Broward Cultural Council member, Vice-Mayor Geller for solidifying their vote of confidence in the future of Broward’s creative economy.
Phillip Dunlap

Director, Broward Cultural Division
October 13, 2020

  • View earlier messages by clicking on 2 below.

FY22 Grantmaking: Greater Access, Equity, and Transparency

Dear Current, Former and Prospective Grantees,

For more than a year, the Cultural Council and Cultural Division staff have been working to overhaul the grantmaking programs to provide greater access, equity, and transparency to this decades-old process. Because we work nearly a year in advance, around this time we would be gearing up for the FY22 grants process with workshops and the announcements of our application deadlines.

Later this fall, we will announce our new grant programs, which will launch online for the FY22 funding cycle (Oct. 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2022). There will be new grant deadlines released as well as many opportunities to learn about the new programs and process. Our goal is to give you enough time to plan and ask questions.

Following our Annual Cultural Forum> on Thursday, Oct. 29, where I will discuss the restructuring process and timeline, I will host three online information sessions about the new grant program on Thursdays in November:

These new programs do not impact current grants for the FY21 funding cycle that begins on October 1 of 2020.

Lastly, we want to include all organizations’ work in our reopening campaign so please complete this quick form> if you haven’t already.

As always, I remain available to discuss any questions or concerns.

Phillip Dunlap, 9/28/2020

Continued support of the Arts and Culture sector

Dear Colleagues,

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the Cultural Division continues to monitor the economic impact on Broward’s Arts and Culture community. Not surprisingly, the numbers continue to climb with a combined economic impact nearing $22 million dollars and visitor loss totaling more than 600,000. Grantees reported more than 1,000 jobs in the Arts and Culture sector have been impacted because of COVID-19 through elimination or furlough. The updated table below details the numbers submitted by our grantees in March, April and May in response to our monthly financial impact survey.

Local and Federal stimulus dollars provided some relief to organizations. Not shown below is the more than $400,000 we were able to provide through the Broward Arts Relief Fund and the more than$6 million grantees have reportedly received as a result of CARES Act funding (EIDL, PPP and NEA/NEH).

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We will continue to collect and report data to help advocate for continued support of the Arts and Culture sector in Broward. We stand by to help as best as we can to ensure our organizations survive.

There is light at the end of the tunnel as we look toward next year and the return of events, plays, concerts, and exhibitions.

Until then, please let us know how we can help.

Phillip Dunlap, 6/26/2020


Collecting data and monitoring impact 6/9

Dear Cultural Community,

We continue to collect data and monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our arts and cultural community and would like to share some results that we have collected through our monthly surveys. We will be continuing these efforts for the next couple of months to help assess the impact and inform next steps.

The total financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Broward County arts and cultural non-profits stands at over $14 million and the reported audience/visitor loss for the two months totals close to $400,000. We also know that many hundreds, if not thousands of jobs have been impacted by the pandemic with salaries reduced and jobs cut or furloughed.

Here is some of the combined data, compiled from non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Broward County.

Broward Cultural Division’s Supplemental Grant
As the pandemic started, we looked at available resources to see how we could help. We were able to get an emergency supplemental grant program online to provide operating support to Broward cultural non-profits experiencing the impacts of COVID-19. Recently, the Broward Cultural Division awarded 38 organizations a combined total of $428,000 in additional support to retain and sustain jobs in Broward.

The May survey will be released shortly, and we appreciate your help in continuing to monitor the impact. For more information, resources and virtual opportunities, visit 

Released Friday afternoon, June 5, Broward County’s Emergency Order 20-15 continues a customized approach to reopening Broward County that incorporates guidelines and requirements for safe operations for opened businesses, amenities and services, based on local conditions.
The new Order permits additional establishments and youth activities to operate with adherence to social distancing, facial covering, and sanitation requirements as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is recognized that these activities provide members of the community with opportunities for exercise and entertainment, under safer conditions during this continuing public health crisis.

Specifically, the new Order:
•  Allows youth activities, including summer camps, to operate including at museums, parks and while visiting County beaches effective 12:01AM Monday, June 8, 2020. Read Attachment 16

Additionally, museums are allowed to operate at a capacity of no more than 50% occupancy. See Attachment 7 of Emergency Order 20-15.

Beginning 12:01AM June 15, 2020, the Order:
• Permits indoor amusement facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and indoor movie theaters that are not amusement rides and do not involve fixed playground equipment to open, with 50% capacity and other restrictions. Aquatic playgrounds, such as interactive water play, are permitted to operate. Read Attachment 17
Concert Houses, Auditoriums, and Playhouses will be allowed to open provided such establishments have submitted a reopening and operation plan for COVID-19 mitigation and sanitation to the County Administrator, received written approval from the County Administrator, and operate in conformance with that approved plan. See section E of Attachment 17

Phillip Dunlap, 6/9/2020

Reopening The Arts In Broward 5/18

Dear Arts Community,

As we enter Phase 1 of re-opening, I want to share some helpful resources to help our arts and cultural organizations navigate the process. Remember, just because businesses and venues are allowed to open according to the Executive Order, you are not required to do so. Opening your doors to guests is a decision that needs to be made by you and your board. Timing is yours to decide and should only be established when you feel comfortable that you are able to ensure the health and safety of your employees and guests while meeting state and local social distancing requirements. 

Currently, museums are able to open, per the Broward County Administrator’s Emergency Order, 20-10, effective Monday, May 18. The emergency order can be viewed HERE. The section of the order pertaining to museums can be found on page 8 with specific guidelines on page 24.

To aid businesses in re-opening, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has created an online guide to help ensure the health and safety of your employees and guests. That guide can be found HERE.

In my discussions with many in the arts community, ensuring the safety has been the top concern, which means knowing where to purchase hand sanitizer and other PPE. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance has put together a helpful guide for businesses in South Florida to help you secure PPE. That guide can be found HERE.

In addition, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance has a brief survey for area businesses. It only takes a few minutes and I urge you to take it. I know we all have been asked to complete a lot of surveys, but I assure you, they are all important. You can find the survey, HERE.

We continue to monitor the situation and will communicate as we have more information. A reminder that additional resources and events are available at

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else on the Cultural Division team. We are here to help.

Phillip Dunlap, 5/18/2020


A new survey and tracking tool 4/28

By Phillip Dunlap, Director, Broward Cultural Division, 4/28/20

Dear Grantees,

Last week, I sent the Financial Impact Tracker tool developed by our friends in Miami-Dade and adapted by Broward Cultural Division to help organizations track the monthly financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to be able to accurately track the financial impact on our grantees and inform our strategic decision making. The tool is fairly self-explanatory and directions are included on the first tab. Remember, you DO NOT need to send this tracking tool back to the Division, it is a tool for your internal use and to aid you in reporting the data through a monthly survey.

To that end, the Marchimpact survey is HERE. Once you have used the tracking tool to document your financial impact for March (only), please input the data into the survey and submit.

Your participation in submitting this vital information is a key component in helping us understand the true impact of COVID-19 on our arts and culture community and inform next steps.

If you have any questions about the tracking tool or impact survey, please reach out to me.

Director, Broward Cultural Division

Addressing the Arts and Culture Community in Broward County 4/23

By Phillip Dunlap, Director, Broward Cultural Division, 4/23/20

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners approved a one-time supplemental grant program to provide much-needed support to our arts organizations that you will be hearing more about it in the days to come.

I want to take a moment now, to acknowledge the important efforts of the many individuals who helped bring this critical program to fruition. Our grants and marketing teams have been working hard to iron out all the details with grant guidelines, workshops, and review processes; our County attorneys considered all the legal aspects of the program, and drafted the motion statements to the Commission as well as an expedited contracts process; and our budget office had to figure out how to access the funds in order to pay for the program.

My point is that creating a program like this is no small task and takes the efforts of many, both within and outside of the Division. Many of you also played an important role in these efforts through your engagement with County Commissioners. Your messages, emails, and calls to our elected officials let them know that this was an important issue. The constant effort keeps the arts at the forefront – all the more important since funding is not guaranteed, and if we aren’t at the table, we are on the menu. The bottom line is that our advocacy efforts cannot only take place in times of crisis, but also during the good times.

Relief Funding for Broward Arts Organizations

The relief fund that passed yesterday will provide one-time supplemental operating support for grantees that have received a CINV, CINP, or CDP grant during the FY20 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2020). Eligible grantees will be able to request between $2,500 and $20,000 for the purpose of preserving jobs that would otherwise be cut as a result of COVID-19. More information can be found on our website, by clicking HERE.

Please note that the application portal is password protected. Eligible organizations will be provided with a password to access the application. Eligibility questions can be directed to our grants administrator, Jim Shermer –  

I also encourage you to sign up for one of the application workshops, held virtually on April 24 and May 6 at 2 pm. You can sign up on our website.

Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on Broward Organizations

In order to inform strategic decisions moving forward, we have been working to track the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and culture community in Broward, and throughout South Florida. Our friends in the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs have taken the lead on this and developed a tool to help organizations track lost revenue and additional expenses.

Please download the Financial Impact Tracker to help calculate the impact on a monthly basis. This tracking tool will be work in conjunction with a brief monthly survey where you will input the information from the tracking tool. You do not need to submit the tracking tool to the Cultural Division. It is an internal tool that enables you to easily report the impact on a monthly basis. We will send the March impact survey out soon. Your help in tracking the impact of COVID-19 on your organization is key to helping us effectively communicate its impact to our community.

Phillip Dunlap 4/23/2020