Saturday, May 19, 2018

City Funding for Events

For the past several years, it has been an annual ritual. The Common Council Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee, at its regular May meeting, would parcel out a sum of money, usually about $20,000, earmarked in the City budget for festivals and events. Late last summer, the AET Committee, agonizing over the possibility that the City might be using taxpayer money to support events and festivals that interfered with commercial activity on Warren Street rather than promoting the city, proposed using the $20,000 to produce one event: Hudson Community Day. That idea was not well received--either by the sponsors of important Hudson events or by representatives of the business community. In the end, it was decided that the AET Committee would go back to distributing the $20,000 as it had in the past, and $20,000 was written into the 2018 budget, although the AET Committee still fussed about the process of determining who got the money and assessing the positive impact of the events supported by the City.

Photo: Albert Gnidica
At the beginning of 2018, Common Council president Tom DePietro abolished the Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee, and it wasn't immediately clear how or if the money would be distributed. But in April, DePietro announced that the money would be awarded by the Finance Committee--it's money, after all. Earlier this week, Rob Bujan, chair of the Finance Committee, published the guidelines for applying for financial assistance and announced that applications are due on June 15.

Photo: Sarah Sterling

The criteria for applying are introduced with this statement: "The City of Hudson grants financial assistance to events that have an impact on the economic & social fabric of Our City. So, no matter how small or large, if your event has a positive effect on the whole City of Hudson, we encourage you to apply!" 

Applicants for funding must be city residents, and events cannot charge admission fees. A mass gathering permit is required before applying for funding. Applications must include the event budget (income and expenses), and funded events are required to submit a post-event report. The application must address the following questions:
  1. Why do you think the City should sponsor your event?
  2. What does your event contribute to the city?
  3. How will you let people know about your event?
  4. Who else is helping to fund your event?
  5. Have you produced events in the past?
  6. Based on your previous events, or your projections for the event you are planning, can you estimate the size of your audience?
For the complete guidelines and instructions for submitting applications, which are due on June 15, 2018, click here.

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