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Riverwalk Arts Festival needs a little help

Ramon Rios
rrios@srpressgazette.com

MILTON — The city is considering sponsoring the Santa Rosa Arts & Culture Foundation‘s next event in the amount of $5,000 after the center asked for a “little boost” at the council meeting on Feb. 3.

Cindea Booth, spokesperson for the Santa Rosa Arts & Culture Foundation, asked for city funding for their 32nd annual Riverwalk Arts Festival scheduled for March 7-8 this year.

“We want to add extra décor this year. We want to draw people in,” Booth said.

RELATED: Local artists display their work at Milton’s Riverwalk Arts Festival (PHOTOS)

According to Booth, the center’s expenses to hold the event are approximately $22,000.

“Right off the bat, we’re $5,000 in,” she said, with some startup cost such as $1,400 in city fees and $1,200 for security before anything else is considered.

The center started advertising the event in mid-January, in out-of-market locations to bring in tourists that stay for several days. Locally, Cat Country Radio is running ads for the event.

“We get a good turnout when we advertise on TV,” Booth told the city council.

Radio and print advertisements increase the cost.

Grants from the Tourist Development Council were used to fund previous events Booth said, but the center “capped out” four years ago and could no longer apply for that type of funding.

“Council in the past has supported this activity up to $10,000,” said Randy Jorgenson, city manager.

Council members agreed the center had a history of producing quality events like the festival and Light Up Milton.

Jorgenson suggested the center apply for the sponsorship through the city of Milton Outside Funding Application. The new application will likely be approved at the next City Council meeting, scheduled for Feb. 11.

The application, created by the city’s Economic Development Office, tracks and offers sponsorship and grant funding for several organizations that hold annual events in the city. Council members saw this as an opportunity to see if the new process works using a strong, experienced organization.

“Their request for $5,000 worth of support is certainly funds that we can find within the budget,” Jorgenson told the council.

Council members voted unanimously to put the center’s request on the consent agenda. They will vote on the issue at the next City Council meeting.