Pine Bluff A&P Commission to Provide Over $1.5 Million in Funding and Support in 2024

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The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission recently awarded $315,870 to 13 local non-profit organizations and public commissions for upcoming events, programming, and
tourism facilities, as well as approved $1,161,840 in funding for operations of the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Funding applications were voted on by the Commission during the regular monthly meeting in December. 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 following organizations were awarded a total of $315,870 in funding for 2024:
• Arkansas Railroad Museum-Year-Round Funding – $25,000
• Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas-Year-Round Funding – $50,000
• Black Pilots of America-Operation Skyhook-Event Funding – $15,000
• Delta Rivers Nature Center-Wetlands and Wildlife Festival-Event Funding – $2,000
• Gamma Psi Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.-Event Funding – $2,000
• Hestand Stadium-Year-Round Funding – $35,000
• Hestand Stadium-Carnival & Fair-Event Funding – $25,000
• Jefferson County Extension Homemakers-Southeast Arkansas District Fair-Event Funding – $14,145
• Pine Bluff Festival Association-4th of July Celebration-Event Funding – $15,000
• Pine Bluff Festival Association-Enchanted Land of Lights & Legends-Event Funding – $10,000
• Pine Bluff Parks & Recreation-Jazz on the Lake Series-Event Funding – $12,725
• Sahara Shrine Circus-Event Funding – $25,000
• Smoke on the Water-Event Funding – $20,000
• Taylor Field-Year-Round Funding – $45,000
• UAPB Arts Department-Arts & Cultural Festival-Event Funding – $40,000 (this amount will be split
between grant funding and tourism development)

Additionally, the commission will assist Southeast Arkansas College with $30,000 for marketing and
promoting SEARK’s athletics inaugural season.

“The commission has voted to fund a record number of organizations and events with a record amount of
funding for 2024,” said Sheri Storie, executive director for the A&P 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. Our grant funding has increased every year since 2018, and I hope that trend endures so we can continue
to fulfill our mission of strengthening the community by creating economic vitality through tourism and
unique visitor experiences.”