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At its March 1, 2016 Council meeting, the Wichita Falls City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture (The Alliance) and the City of Wichita Falls to transfer the responsibility for managing the city’s budget allocation for funding the arts. This landmark agreement is a new chapter in the ongoing development of the local arts community in Wichita Falls. The City’s former Arts Commission, the all-volunteer panel who previously reviewed and made grant recommendations to the City Council, was dissolved as part of the transition. The Alliance staff has already begun to collaborate with former Arts Commission members to identify whys to improve the grants application and reporting process.

New guidelines and review standards will be created to ensure greater accountability for funds awarded to future grant recipients. Among the services specified in the MOU by the City, is the requirement that The Alliance “provide management and technical assistance support to all potential applicants to improve the quality of services proposed for the public”. This service will be useful in helping arts organizations consider more aggressive ways to attract and retain broader audiences and create strategies to develop a more diversified donor base. Part of this effort will collect economic impact data that helps make the work of the arts more visible to the community and positions the arts as a viable investment for city government and for the business community.

The term of the MOU is for a one-year period, after which time the City Council will evaluate the effectiveness of The Alliance’s implementation of the MOU. Quarterly reports are to be submitted to the City Manager’s office as one performance measure of the goals outlined by the MOU. A full copy of the approved MOU can be found on the City Council’s March 1, 2016 agenda on the city’s website: http://www.wichitafallstx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/27593.

A detailed timeline outlining deadlines, review processes and new grant categories will be available in mid-April.

Send any inquiries about the new application process to The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture at: info@wichitafallsarts.org.

The mission of the Wichita Falls Arts Alliance for Arts and Culture is to provide leadership to support, promote, and cultivate the arts in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area.

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