MARIETTA – At a meeting of the city's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee Thursday, members of the Marietta City Council considered $1.1 million in funding requests from the city’s major cultural institutions.
The requests, coming from organizations ranging from the Strand Theatre to the Marietta Arts Council, come as part of the yearly process of doling out tourism grants.
Grants for the organizations are funded through the city’s 3% auto rental tax, which is projected to bring in $607,200 this fiscal year. An 8% hotel/motel tax, meanwhile, is expected to collect $318,796 and is used to fund the Marietta Visitors Bureau.
The largest request for fiscal 2022 is from city staff, which raised its ask to over $191,000, up from $150,000 last year. City spokesperson Lindsey Wiles said those funds go to staffing city festivals including Chalktoberfest, Streetfest, Taste of Marietta, and the Fourth of July celebration.
At the Marietta Museum of History, which has requested $160,000, funds would help pay for features such as a forthcoming exhibit highlighting a trove of photographs depicting 19th century Marietta. Many of the photos, by a young New York photographer named James Walsh, were taken May 30, 1899—Memorial Day.
“It was a unique situation where we have African Americans coming from all over Atlanta, coming up to Marietta, specifically for the federal Memorial Day festivities,” said museum curator Amy Reed.
“Memorial Day wasn't a big deal for most white citizens in the South. They were still very big on Confederate Memorial Day. And so the only people really that were going out to celebrate the federal Memorial Day were African Americans and Union veterans.”
Reed said the exhibit, titled “Marietta 1899: Color Captured in Black and White,” is a unique glimpse of Black Americans at a time when most portrayals of them showed them only in domestic roles.
The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, meanwhile, has sought $125,000, while the Gone With the Wind Museum is seeking $67,670.
After review by the committee, the requests will be decided by the full council.
A complete list of the organizations and their funding requests is as follows:
Marietta Grant Requests
|Organization||FY 2020 Award||FY 2021 Award||FY 2022 Request|
|City Staff Request - City Services||$132,480.24||$140,000||$191,971|
|The Earl Smith Strand Theatre||$66,000||$54,780||$45,000|
|Cobb NAACP Juneteenth||$10,000||$5,000||$10,560|
|GA Metro Dance Theatre||$18,000||$14,940||$30,000|
|Georgia Symphony Orchestra||$15,000||$12,450||$15,800|
|Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art||$90,000||$18,675||$125,000|
|Marietta Museum of History||$162,000||$160,000||$160,000|
|Marietta Square Branding Project||$12,500||$5,000||$10,000|
|The Georgia Ballet||$10,000||$8,300||$20,000|
|Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum||$55,000||$68,670||$67,670|
|Marietta Business Association (Art in Park)||$16,000||City Services||City Services|
|Marietta Arts Council||$12,000||$6,960||$12,000|
|Atlanta Lyric Theatre||$10,000||$8,300||$12,000|
|Marietta Educational Gardens||N/A||$0||$5,000|
A breakdown of the hotel/motel tax is below:
Hotel Motel Tax
|Organization||FY 2020 Award||FY 2021 Award||FY 2022 Request||FY 2022 Recommended Award|
|Marietta Visitors Bureau||$300,000||$300,000||$348,290||$295,000|
|Lease of Welcome Center||N/A||$18,000||$18,540||$18,540|
|City Staff Marketing Request||$24,000||N/A||$10,000||$5,000|