Orange County invests $7.5 million into Central Florida arts scene
Arts organizations in Central Florida got a $7.5 million dollar boost Tuesday from a local tax on tourism.
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Thirty four arts organizations in Central Florida have been approved to receive grants totaling some $3.5 million dollars from the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Office. The rest of the money will go to support other arts programming in the area.
Director Terry Olson says supporting the arts is really an investment back into the community.
“The estimated attendance from these 34 projects is about $1.5 million. About 371,000 tourists will be part of that. It's obviously increasing the awareness of our place as a cultural destination.”
Olson says the total economic impact of these different arts and cultural programs could be $75 million dollars.
“Economic impact based on the Americans for the Arts economic impact calculator, based on specifically our community, is $75 million, which is a 21:1 return on the investment that we're investing today.”
The grants are funded by the tourist development tax or TDT, which is collected on hotel stays and other short-term rentals in the area.
TDT collections in August were the highest they’ve been for any August on record, raking in $23.4 million dollars.
For more arts-related stories, tune into Spotlight hosted by Nicole Darden Creston every Thursday on 90.7 WMFE FM.