The Lehi City 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 the 2023 application process.
Lehi residents passed 1/10th of a 1% sales tax increase in the 2021 General Election with revenue expected to be between $1.3-$1.5 million per year. Mayor Mark Johnson and the City Council have decided that 70% of the tax revenue will be allocated to Parks and Recreation projects. Another 30%, approximately $400,000 to $450,000, will be awarded to Arts and Culture grants. Non-profit organizations with a significant presence in Lehi can apply for grants related to arts and culture. Mayor Johnson has established a volunteer, citizen-led committee to review Arts and Culture grant applications and advise the City Council. The Council then makes the final decisions about the grant.
In the first round 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 made a favorable recommendation to the City Council for the full amount of all applicants except for the Thanksgiving Point Institute (TPI) $300,000 application.
“Since presenting our findings to the City Council in June, Thanksgiving Point has made a real effort to become more involved in the Lehi community,” said Nicole Kunze, PARC Advisory Chair. “They’re very open to ideas and suggestions. In August, they offered discounts to Lehi residents, and they’re working with the Lehi Arts Council to make theater performances accessible to more residents who use the Thanksgiving Point locations. This that’s what we wanted – we need to give them credit.”
“They got what they asked for, so they didn’t need to take our advice,” said PARC Advisory Committee member Lindsay Gehman.
The PARC Advisory Committee voted to extend the 2023 application period by two months, from February to April. The committee will hold workshops in late January for non-profit organizations to review the grant application process. The committee kept the grant criteria the same for 2022:
• Local Impact 30%
• Estimated Result 30%
• Community Needs 25%
• Skills and Finances 15%
“We hope to get more applications next year,” said committee member Kori Gammon.