In 2016 the City accepted proposals for two funding categories – Partner Investment and Project Investment– for the production, the creation, and the presentation of cultural and art services.
These programs align with Savannah’s City Council priorities of community development, economic development, cultural awareness, public safety, neighborhood vitality, improved communication, and educational attainment/technical skill development opportunities.
During the deliberation process, the Cultural Affairs Commission Committee Members discussed the merits of each proposal and voted to determine the investment levels to recommend based on the following scored criteria:
Artistic Quality & Program Design
Measure • Unique and innovative programming
• Demonstrated ability to produce effective and consistent programming
• Services do not duplicate other municipal programming
Organizations & Financial Stability
Measure • Effective administration, fiscal responsibility, and leadership
• Diverse board and staff reflective of the Savannah community
• Established long-range and short-term plans
Community, Economic, and Cultural Impact
Measure • Provide measureable economic contribution
• Expansion of tourism
• Employment in the local sector
• Collaborative efforts with other organizations and businesses
• Comprehensive evaluation methods and analysis
• Youth educational opportunities, engaging them as audience members, program
staff/stewards, and artists/performers
Measure • Programmatic and physical accessibility to populations with special needs and
limited access to the arts
• Impact areas outside the landmark historic district
• Significant number of activities which are free and open to the public
• Effective and inclusive marketing strategies
Measure • Practical budget projections for proposed activities and overall operations
• Diversified revenue stream with an emphasis on non-city sources
• Organizations required to show a cash match for City invested programs, scaled
by budget size and program fund request.
• Organizations provided documentation of sound accounting practices
2017 Funded Organizations are:
Armstrong State University $47,000
Savannah Asian Cultural Festival
Cultural Awareness, Public Safety, Neighborhood Vitality
A city-wide international cultural festival, held on the Armstrong campus in Southside Savannah, increases international awareness of residents and visitors. Armstrong presents cultural events from different regions of Asia, Asian cuisine, and an array of learning activities about Asian culture for children and adults. Savannah Asian Cultural Festival addresses the City's priorities by improving access to art throughout the City, developing collaborative relationships with the Asian community in Savannah, and developing a cultural program in the Southside of Savannah.
Art Rise Savannah $10,000
First Friday Art March
Neighborhood Vitality, Economic Growth, Public Safety
Every first Friday of the month Art Rise host an art walk through a neighborhood South of Forsyth, which highlights local artists and provides cultural vibrancy to the emerging redevelopment corridor. Art Rise Savannah addresses the City's priorities by providing free access to the arts for the community’s diverse citizenry and developing collaborative relationships with local businesses and non-profits.
Coastal Jazz Association $50,500
Savannah Jazz Festival
Economic Growth & Public Safety
Managed by an all-volunteer organization, the festival pairs local jazz talent with national/regional jazz artists. The program presents three nights of free performances in Forsyth Park. Program design, site selection, and collaborative relationships are mechanisms used to engage a demographically inclusive audience. Savannah Jazz Festival addresses the City's priorities by expanding the audience’s appreciation and understanding of the art form and includes performance opportunities for youth.
Deep Center, Inc. $22,000
Deep Center Literacy Programs
Education, Poverty Reduction, Neighborhood Vitality, Ambassadorship
Deep’s Literacy Programs bring the literary arts to SCCPSS students through creative writing workshops and publication. Participating students compose original poems and stories, including programs geared toward neighborhood story-telling. Additionally, students recite their original poems and stories at the bi-annual DeepSpeaks! event. In 2015-16, 50% of Deep ELA participants saw grades increase by an average of 8% or nearly a full grade. Deep addresses the City's priorities by engaging the community’s diverse youth as planners, performers, and creatives, and developing sustainable collaborative relationships.
Department of Cultural Affairs $6,000
Education, Innovative Arts, Heritage
Project proposals that actively involve youth, seniors, and those who have limited access to arts-based programs in Savannah. Various arts and cultural heritage programs funded.
Live Oak Public Libraries $85,500
Savannah Children’s Book Festival
Education & Public Safety
The Savannah Children's Book Festival (SCBF), a one day outdoor event featuring regionally and nationally children illustrators, poets, and authors, promotes literacy and encourages use of the public library. Workshops targeting parents and educators will assist literacy acquisition. Festival organizers partner with the City’s Cultural Arts Gallery to present a month-long exhibition of SCBF Poster Contest Winners. SCBF addresses the City's priorities by developing educational and outreach components, developing collaborative relationship, and promotes Savannah as a cultural destination for families.
Savannah Film Festival $42,000
Economic Growth & Education
The Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, welcomes over 200 filmmakers, directors, producers, actors, and industry film professionals annually to Savannah for an eight-day festival consisting of a student and professional film competition, along with premiere evening screenings, honored guests, and exceptional panels and workshops. In 2017, the festival is designated to spend over $633,000 in the Savannah area. The Savannah Film Festival addresses the City's priorities by providing measureable economic contributions and promoting Savannah as a cultural destination.
Savannah Music Festival $119,500
Economic Growth & Education
The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) produces an array of programs with a centerpiece 17- day festival. SMF outreach and education initiatives include free public artistic lectures, a national weekly public radio series, a year-round local music education youth program (Musical Explorers) and two tuition free young artist development programs. Musical Explorers program reaches 9,500 K-2 students who receive a minimum of 7 hours of creative education. The program also conducts teacher trainings for 300 teachers. In 2016, the festival attracted its highest percentage of visitors to date (40%), resulting in $11 million of local direct spending, 11,789 hotel room nights and nearly $1 million of local tax revenues. Savannah Music Festival addresses the City's priorities by providing measureable economic contributions, promoting Savannah as a cultural destination, and positively impacting the community’s youth.
Savannah Philharmonic $80,000
Economic Growth, Public Safety & Education
Savannah Philharmonic is a Per Service orchestra of musicians and a chorus that provides educational programs for youth. Savannah Philharmonic produces Savannah's largest single free day event "Picnic in the Park" in Forsyth Park. The Savannah Philharmonic addresses the City's priorities by providing measureable economic contributions and promoting Savannah as a cultural destination.
Savannah State University $115,000
Savannah Black Heritage Festival
Economic Growth, Public Safety, Education, Ambassadorship
A free family oriented month-long festival expands awareness, educates and exposes attendees to African American culture and history. Program design incorporates a variety of offerings to engage a demographically inclusive audience through the visual, literary, performing, or media arts. The Savannah Black Heritage Festival addresses the City's priorities by developing educational and outreach components to the community's diverse youth, providing access to the arts, and developing collaborative relationships.
Tara Feis Committee
Department of Cultural Affairs $55,500
Tara Feis: St. Patrick’s Family Festival
A volunteer led effort produces a free one day family oriented celebration of Celtic culture. Tara Feis includes hands-on arts projects, cultural performances, musical performances, and spoken word performances suitable for an audience of all ages.
Telfair Museum of Art $103,000
Economic Growth, Education, Ambassadorship
Telfair produces public programming all year round--including arts outreach, festivals, free tours, educational workshops, scholarly lectures, performances, Free Family Days, and national exhibitions--in order to achieve widespread service to all citizens, as well as foster tourism in Savannah. Telfair attracts over 130,000 out-of-state tourists each year and Telfair's combination of tourism revenue, tax revenue, and local artistic expenditures raise an estimated $9,010,618 each year for Chatham County. Telfair addresses the City's priorities by providing access to the arts for the community’s diverse citizenry, developing collaborative relationships, and promoting Savannah as a cultural destination.
West Broad Street YMCA $19,000
Y Creative Arts
Neighborhood Vitality, Health & Environment, Education, Public Safety, & Poverty Reduction
A series of multi-disciplinary art programs provides access to an audience ranging in age from kindergarten to 17 years of age. Programs include YDance, YMusical Theatre, YPainting, YPoetry, and YYoga. Site selection near Kayton/Frazier housing neighborhoods furthers the goals of accessibility.