With conflict over control of $10 million in grants still brewing, Fresno Arts Council hopes to rally supporters at Measure P meeting
By Doug Hoagland
The Fresno Arts Council is appealing for people to attend a Measure P meeting on Monday, Feb. 27, to show support for “remaining true” to the initiative and ensuring that the Arts Council plays a major role in administering millions of dollars in grants for the arts.
The meeting is a regularly scheduled session of the Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission, a citizens advisory and oversight group established by Measure P. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Fresno City Hall.
Related stories: A DEEP DIVE ON THE MEASURE P FUNDING PROCESS: IS THE FRESNO CITY COUNCIL MICROMANAGING?
And: With at least $10 million in Measure P funding at stake, Fresno Arts Council worries it’s being frozen out of the grant process by City Hall
The appeal for support went out in an email on Friday. Lilia Gonzáles Chávez, executive director of the Arts Council, told The Munro Review: “We sent it because it’s important for the Commission to understand the trust the community has in the Fresno Arts Council.”
Gonzáles Chávez says she intends to speak at Monday’s meeting, and other supporters of the Arts Council are expected to do so, too.
Monday’s meeting will be broadcast live on CMAC 3 Government Live Stream. You can also attend by Zoom. Here’s the link.
Measure P states that arts grants “shall be implemented” by the Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission “in partnership” with the Arts Council. More than $10 million in grants to artists and nonprofit arts organizations could be awarded by the Fresno City Council in the fiscal year beginning July 1.
A controversy over the Arts Council’s role was sparked earlier this month when city parks director Andrew Aguirre sent Gonzáles Chávez an email stating the city would manage and administer the grants process. Supporters of the Arts Council saw that move as sidelining the Council and violating the intent of Measure P.
Doug Hoagland is a freelance writer in Fresno. He spent 40 years working at Valley papers, including 30 years at The Fresno Bee. The first play he saw was a 1968 production of “Show Boat” at McLane High School.
Doug: Please make it clear that the meeting is both in person and virtual