Over the next few months, we’ll look at this Restricted Funds category and try to understand where the funds come from and who is responsible for spending them.
ArtWalk: this event was the creative idea of Kim Murillo 6 years ago, who felt that our small business district was pretty much unknown to up-the-hill folks and she felt that we could do two things at once: provide a venue for local artists and crafts persons and do it in front of the businesses. We weren’t able to use the west side of the street, as it we needed to make sure that at least 6 feet of sidewalk was left untouched for pedestrian traffic. The west side of Lakeside Ave has a sloping sidewalk that dips back to the properties which makes it more difficult.
A committee was formed and merchants invited to join along with a few representatives from the Leschi CC, as we would be the fiscal agent for the group. We have been able to get a small grant from the city for a few years. Last year was pretty much self-supported, although there were some surprises from the city along the way. A change had been made and although the memo was sent to two folks, it did not reach the committee as a whole so we were shocked to receive a large bill from Special Events. This group is now under OED, the Office of Economic Development and although that was our goal (development of our business community) in creating this event, we were shocked to discover that the biggest bill went to that office.
We began to wonder who we were supporting: our merchants or the Office of Economic Development, which does have a very large work force to feed. It quickly became apparent that the usual funding was not going to cut it. We will probably end up in the red this year due to this change and it forces us to look into other ways to get funds.
Cara Ross, massage therapist with the Blue Heron Healing Arts, has agreed to submit a grant application, which could provide some funds for the next two years. And we will ask the merchants to step up and contribute to this event. Tom Leavitt has been a sweetheart in underwriting the cost of musicians, but this too has increased over the years and we’d like to find other underwriters.
The money that has gone into this fund has been those kinds of donations and the modest fee that artists pay for their booth ($20 or $25 if they don’t have a current Seattle business license.)