Lehi City’s PARC Advisory Committee is a seven-person group including five Lehi residents and two city employees. The committee met on Thursday, Oct. 27, to review their first experience advising the City Council on Arts and Culture Grants and to plan for the 2023 application process.
Lehi residents passed the 1/10th of 1% sales tax increase in the 2021 General Election with anticipated revenue between $1.3-$1.5 million annually. Mayor Mark Johnson and the City Council determined that 70% of the tax revenue would be appropriated to Parks and Recreation projects. The other 30%, approximately $400,000 to $450,000, will be gifted to Arts and Culture grants. Non-profit organizations with a significant presence in Lehi may apply for funding related to arts and culture. Mayor Johnson created a volunteer, citizen-led committee to vet the Arts and Culture grant applications and to advise the City Council. The Council then makes final decisions on the disbursement of grants.
In the first cycle of Arts and Culture grants, Lehi City received applications from four non-profit organizations: Hutchings Museum, Lehi Historical Society & Archives, Lehi Arts Council and Thanksgiving Point Institute. The PARC Advisory Committee gave a favorable recommendation to City Council for the full amount of all the grant applicants except for Thanksgiving Point Institute’s (TPI) $300,000 request.
“Since we presented our findings to the City Council in June, Thanksgiving Point has made a real effort to be more involved in the Lehi community specifically,” said Nicole Kunze, the PARC Advisory Chair. “They are very open to feedback and suggestions. In August, they offered discount passes to Lehi residents, and they are working with the Lehi Arts Council to make theater productions accessible to more residents using Thanksgiving Point venues. This is what we wanted – we need to give them credit.”
“They essentially got what they asked for, so they really didn’t need to take our advice,” said PARC Advisory Committee member Lindsay Gehman.
The PARC Advisory Committee chose to extend the 2023 application period by two months, from February to April. Thecommittee will host a workshop in late January for non-profit organizations to review the grant application process. The committee kept the grant award criteria the same as in 2022:
• Local Impact 30%
• Measurable Outcome 30%
• Community Need 25%
• Capacity and Funding 15%
“Hopefully, we get more applications next year,” said committee member Kori Gammon.