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We need your important voice to save arts & cultural funding in Volusia County!

On Tuesday, June 6, the Volusia County Council will meet to consider eliminating the 34-year old Community Cultural Grant Program, which last year alone provided $611,789 in general operating support funding to more than 32 local non-profit arts, cultural and historical organizations.

Today, on behalf of OBHS, we are urgently asking you to help ensure that this essential grant program continues. As the only private non-profit organization working to share the rich and diverse history of Ormond Beach through education and preservation, OBHS relies on these funds.  We hope that you will reach out to our Volusia County Council representatives on our behalf, and for the many other worthy non-profits that support our community and rely on these funds.

Why does this grant program matter?

The Volusia County Community Cultural Grant supports organizations whose primary mission is to provide visual, performance and literary art or heritage-based programming to county citizens. For years, OBHS has applied for and received this funding used to support our general operations, develop and market our educational and family outreach programs, create our exhibits and manage our collections. Of course, we actively solicit other funds including memberships, donations and sponsorships, but this income varies each year. This county grant provides a stable, budgeted source of funds that helps to ensure we can provide core services to our community. 

This program only costs taxpayers $2 per household each year.

Last year, the $611,789 in total grants awarded represented less than one-tenth of one percent – just 0.04% – of the county’s 2022 budget, or approximately $2 per household.  That $2 per household per year provides vital general program support for qualifying cultural organizations in Volusia County, and is a small but very worthwhile investment for the quality of life we all enjoy.  

What does this program deliver for Volusia citizens and our community?

1. Empowers local businesses and gives our county government a 2.6x revenue 

return on its investment: Last year, the 32 organizations that received these grants spent more than $13 million in our community, resulting in 490 full-time jobs.  Audiences spent an additional $21 million attending performances and exhibits, generating $1+ million in local government revenue.  For every $1 the county awarded in cultural grants, our local government received a 2.6x return.*

2.  Enables us to offer free educational programs and resources: Last year, more than 500,000 people attended 2,600 performances, museum exhibits and educational programs presented by these nonprofits – many free to the public, with nearly 50,000 Volusia County K-12 students benefitting as well. OBHS presents many free community programs funded in-part through this grant.  Last year, more than 8,900 people attended free OBHS events and exhibits at the MacDonald House and Ormond Beach City Welcome Center, weekend Speaker Series lectures at the Anderson-Price Memorial Building, children’s programs like the Dirt Detectives, and open houses at our historic treasures including the Three Chimneys archaeological site, Nathan Cobb Cottage and Hotel Ormond Cupola.

3.  Drives economic growth and our county’s $5.7 billion tourism industry: Volusia County enjoys a $5.7 billion tourism industry,** and our arts, culture and history are important tourist attractions.  In fact, cultural tourists spend on average 60% more and stay longer.  These assets are vital to our economic development as recruitment tools when companies consider relocating to or expanding in Volusia County. 

4.  Supports our quality of life: This county grant provides much-needed recreational resources for our citizens at a fraction of the cost of the government providing these resources on its own.  In addition, arts and cultural activities promote health and wellness for our citizens in both mind and body.  

What may happen if the county cultural grants are eliminated?

Without this support, our county’s citizens may lose free and low-cost access to these important recreational and social activities if non-profit organizations must lay off staff or reduce hours.  Our important relationships with Volusia County students and special populations may be endangered. Cultural tourists may find fewer reasons to visit, and businesses may find fewer reasons to relocate here. OBHS is only one of the many organizations that would be affected.  We have established partnerships with other arts and civic groups that receive these funds, including the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens (OMAM), the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS), the Halifax Historical Society and the West Volusia Historical Society, among many others.  We ask for your help on their behalf as well.

We need your support! How can you help?

Please reach out to the Volusia County Council members immediately, and implore our representatives NOT to eliminate the Volusia Community Cultural Grant Program.  Tell them why supporting the arts in our county matters.  A single voice can be strong, but together our united voices are much more powerful. 

Volusia County Council Contacts: 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call our office at 386.677.7005 or email us at We are here to serve you, and we thank you for your ongoing support of our important mission.

Additional Information

* Arts and Economic Prosperity Calculator 5, Americans for the Arts, publica=ons/arts-economic-prosperity-5/use/arts-economic-prosperity-5-calculator   


** Mid-Florida Marketing and Research

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