The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission recently awarded a quarter of a million dollars to several local non-profit organizations and public commissions for upcoming events, programming, and tourism facilities. Additional funds were allocated for maintenance requests for two tourism facilities, as well as over $1M in funding for the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
Funding applications were voted on by the Commission during the regular monthly meeting in January. Categories for the grant awards are year-round funding, advertising and publicity, event operating expenses, and seed money. Events and programming must take place in the city of Pine Bluff and must fit within at least one of the following focus areas: visual arts, culinary arts, Delta heritage, performing arts, and sports and recreation.
The Commission also allocated $1,128,000 in its 2023 budget for the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
“We had a record amount of funding requests,” said Sheri Storie, executive director for the Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission. The commission is particularly interested in the economic impact each event or tourism facility will have on the local economy, specifically hotels and restaurants. Our revenue is generated from the 2% prepared food tax and 3% lodging tax. I hope in the future we are able to increase the amount of grant funding so we can continue to fulfill our mission of strengthening the community by creating economic vitality through tourism and unique visitor experiences.”
The following organizations were awarded funding for 2023:
- Arkansas Railroad Museum – Year-Round Funding
- Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas – Year-Round Funding
- Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas – Augmented Reality Installation Project • Black Pilots of America – Operation Skyhook
- Delta Rivers Nature Center – Wetlands and Wildlife Festival
- Go Forward Pine Bluff – The Delta Celebration Series of Festivals and Events
- Pine Bluff Festival Association – Annual 4th of July Celebration
- Pine Bluff Festival Association – Enchanted Land of Lights & Legends
- Sahara Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S. – Sahara Shrine Moto Xtreme Circus
- South Arkansas Livestock Association / Hestand Stadium – Year-Round Funding
- Taylor Field – Year-Round Funding
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff – Alumni Homecoming Golf Tournament
• University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff – 95th Annual Homecoming Celebration advertising and publicity