United Arts leaders have adopted a suggestion by arts-group executives to ease the financial stress caused by a six-month delay in grant funding.
In mid-November, United Arts told groups such as
Some organizations, including Orlando Repertory Theatre and Orlando Ballet, had warned that the resulting six-month funding gap could lead to curtailing programs to make ends meet.
Under the latest plan, groups will receive 90 percent of their allocation between January and June of next year. The final 10 percent will come in December 2014. Previously, the grants were distributed in 12 equal monthly payments.
Flora Maria Garcia, president of United Arts of Central Florida, made the announcement during a meeting with arts groups Tuesday night. She said the plan, which came about during discussions with directors of local arts groups, was approved by the United Arts board Monday.
United Arts leaders say beginning payments in January is a responsible business practice because grants won't be paid until the organization collects its government funding in the fall.
United Arts supports arts and cultural organizations in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties. Scott Bowman, chairman of its development committee, said a strong start to the current public fundraising drive could also help groups through the funding gap.
As part of that campaign, which runs through April, donations from individuals and businesses can be designated for a particular organization. That money will be paid out in July as usual, Bowman clarified.