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Sarasota News Leader December 13, 2013 County grants funding for arts and cultural programming in FY 2013 was also up, he pointed out during the board's regular meeting on Dec. 11 in Sarasota. In the 2012 fiscal year, the county allocated $1,250,547 in revenue from the Tourist Development Tax for those events, according to statistics Shirley showed the board. For the 2013 fiscal year, the amount was $1,303,474, about a 4-percent increase. That investment, he said, "pays off big time for us," adding that he wanted to take the opportunity, during his year-end report to the board, to urge an undertaking to increase the arts funding. "If we look at it programmatically," he explained, "a larger investment in Page 69 the arts is going to be a larger investment in Sarasota County." Among other figures he presented to the board, out-of-state residents comprised 23 percent of the total project attendance in the 2013 fiscal year, while county residents made up 46 percent of the total and Florida residents accounted for 26 percent. The figure for international visitors was 5 percent — 63,721 people. Shirley stressed that he was addressing statistics only for those arts and cultural events funded by the county grants. That money went to 31 organizations in the form of 38 grants, he pointed out. Pie charts compare attendance statistics from the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years for arts and cultural programming funded by Tourist Development Tax revenue. Image courtesy Sarasota County

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