Dayton region requesting $11 million in state capital funding for arts projects


Dayton region requesting $11 million in state capital funding for arts projects

Here, ranked in priority order, are the 10 arts projects approved and recommended for the Dayton Region by the “Quality of Life” Priority Development and Advocacy Commitee (PDAC)

1. Preserving & Updating the Historic Dayton Art Institute Dayton Art Institute $3,500,000

2. Victoria Theatre & Metropolitan Arts Center Renovations Victoria Theatre Association $1,500,000

3. Clark State Performing Arts Center Clark State Performing Arts Center $750,000

4. Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Renovations Dayton Contemporary Dance Company $125,000

5. River Run Murals Project Miami Conservancy District $150,000

6. Wright State University Creative Arts Center Modernization & Expansion Wright State University $1,850,000

7. Fairborn Theatre Restoration Fairborn Performing Arts & Culture Association $750,000

8. K‐12 and TEJAS Gallery Building Project K12 Gallery for Young People $100,000

9. Parking Garage for Performing Arts Center at The Heights City of Huber Heights $2,500,000

10. British Transportation Museum $100,000

Photo gallery: We’ve compiled photos of the area’s top arts projects. View our exclusive gallery at

Photo gallery: We’ve compiled photos of the area’s top arts projects. View our exclusive gallery at

For the first time in six years, there may be significant dollars for much needed capital projects for local arts groups in the 2015-2016 state capital budget, economic development and arts experts said.

It has been six years since state resources were available for capital projects for arts organizations, according to Chris Kershner, vice president of public policy and economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Communities throughout the state were asked by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management to prioritize projects for potential inclusion in the 2015-2016 state capital budget.

The Dayton region forwarded a list of 10 capital projects for consideration to a statewide arts committee. That group of statewide leaders including two Dayton-area representatives, will vet the projects and forward their recommendations to Gov. John Kasich this month.

The capital budget — which will be introduced in early 2014 — will then be considered by the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. After hearings on the bill, it will be presented for the governor’s signature.

If the arts organizations are granted monies, funding could take effect in the next fiscal year cycle which begins July 1, 2014.

“We’re seeking input from communities on what is important to them,” explained Tom Betti, communications manager for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, who said a state-wide total of more than $31 million was last designated for the arts in 2008.

Narrowing the field

The “Quality of Life” Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC), composed of arts experts from throughout the region, has come up with a Ten Top Projects list that includes museums and performing arts groups and incorporates projects ranging from theater and arts center renovations ot a parking garage for arts patrons. Proposals from 29 regional arts projects were reviewed by the committee. The Dayton region’s request total is $11,325,000. The requests are part of the Dayton Development Coalition’s larger PDAC list of projects for the state capital bill.

Kershner said Dayton is unique because a community process had already been established in which this type of regional request could be considered.

At the top of Dayton’s list — with a price tag of $3,500,000 — is the historic Dayton Art Institute. Other major funding could go to the Victoria Theatre Association ($1,500,000) Wright State University ($1,850,000) and the City of Huber Heights and its new Performing Arts Center. ($2,500,000).

“It is important to note that some projects were not prioritized on our list because they did not meet the criteria for capital budget “arts” funding,” Kershner said.

“We have a robust arts community, but like any non-profit, there are struggles around capital improvements,” Kershner said. “The capital bill is an excellent venue in which the state can help support capital needs of some of our arts organizations.”

DAI ranked No.1

DAI director and CEO Michael Roediger said he is excited and optimistic about the DAI’s prospects. The museum, which annually attracts 150,000 visitors from the 12-county Dayton region and beyond, has a collection of 27,000 objects reflecting 5,000 years of world cultures.

“This is a capital bill so the money needs to be used for capital and we felt that the Dayton Art Institute needed those funds to sustain and maintain that community treasure,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the downtown Dayton Partnership, who served on the Quality of Life Committee.

“I think the community has identified that the museum is an important part of the quality of our life, an indicator of the kind of community we have,” said Roediger, who said the last time the DAI had received state funding at this level was in the late 1990s for the renovation of the museum.

“This certainly doesn’t guarantee that we will get all of the funding or any funding at all, but it’s a good indication,” he added.

Roediger said the state monies would be added to the $1 million already secured for the DAI’s plan for Phase 1 capital improvements — budgeted at $4.5 million. Phase 2, which will include city and county support in addition to dollars secured from a capital campaign, will follow with a total cost of nearly $10 million.

Plans for Phase 1 include expansion and consolidation of art storage, accessibility for all museum visitors, and an upgrade to the building’s heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems.

Systems which control humidity are critical for preserving fine artwork.

Other Projects

Most of the other recommended projects involve building renovation: DCDC, for example, seeks funding to renovate its dance studios. The Victoria Theatre and Metropolitan Arts Center renovations would include upgrades ranging from theatrical sound and lighting equipment to the installation of a HVAC system and exterior renovation. The old Fairborn Theatre looks forward to becoming a multi-purpose facility, and the Clark State Performing Arts Center plans to replace a roof and air conditioning units.

K12 and TEJAS would use the monies to help renovate its new building at the corner of Jefferson and Patterson in downtown Dayton; The City of Huber Heights seeks help in building a 600 space public parking garage for use at the new Performing Arts Center at The Heights.

Strategies for funding

Kershner said each organization came up with it’s own strategy for funding requests.

“Some asked for more than they need, some for exactly what they need, some didn’t ask for enough,” he said.

The project lists are being reviewed by a state-wide arts committee formed by Governor John Kasich. Serving on that committee from the Dayton region are Rob Connelly, president of Henny Penny, and Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State University.

View Comments 0

Weather and Traffic