United Arts of Central Florida approves nearly $1.5 million for local arts groups


  • photo courtesy West Art District, via Facebook
United Arts of Central Florida will provide $1.495 million in operating funds to 35 local nonprofits this year, the group announced Tuesday.

That's $15,000 more than in 2017, according to a news release – a major feat in light of how the state of Florida has dramatically slashed funding in recent years. All funds come from donations provided to the Arts for All fund in the group's annual spring Campaign for the Arts.

"Since its inception in 1989, United Arts has invested more than $150 million in the growth and development of Central Florida nonprofit cultural groups," United Arts of Central Florida president and CEO Flora Maria Garcia says in the release. "This highly competitive grant process ensures that Central Florida residents are receiving intriguing, inclusive and creative programming from cultural institutions."

As the release notes, operating support is essential funding for nonprofit organizations. Last year, the organization contributed to 4,559 exhibitions and productions, as well as provided education to 961,816 students while attracting more than 2.8 million visitors in the process. In all, United Arts estimates that the grants support 359 full-time and 526 part-time staff positions, and that's not even including the 13,625 artists it supports too.

This year's allocations include:

(Large-budget organizations)
  • Art & History Museums – Maitland: $42,500
  • Bach Festival Society of Winter Park: $61,200
  • Central Florida Community Arts: $21,500
  • School of Art: $61,700
  • Downtown Arts District: $22,700
  • Enzian Theater: $48,600
  • Garden Theatre: $27,100
  • Orange County Regional History Center: $27,200
  • Orlando Ballet: $177,700
  • Orlando Fringe: $26,900
  • Orlando Museum of Art: $115,400
  • Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: $199,400
  • Orlando Repertory Theatre: $121,000
  • Orlando Science Center: $176,700
  • Orlando Shakes: $160,700

(Midsize-budget organizations)
  • Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens: $16,400
  • Bay Street Players: $9,000
  • Central Florida Ballet: $23,300
  • Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras: $15,300
  • Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida: $30,300
  • Mennello Museum of American Art: $10,200
  • Mount Dora Center for the Arts: $14,000
  • Osceola County Historical Society: $4,300
  • Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center: $4,500
  • Winter Garden Heritage Foundation: $7,300

(Small-budget organizations)
  • Asian Cultural Association: $5,000
  • Creative City Project: $5,000
  • Global Peace Film Festival: $5,500
  • Orlando Gay Chorus: $8,500
  • Steinway Society of Central Florida: $8,200
  • Urban Think Foundation: $10,400
  • Winter Park History Museum: $3,800

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.