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April 1, 2023

Grants Available for Arts, Education Activities

Tourism District ready to share ‘bed tax’ revenue with local groups

The Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District (HTID) has begun their 10th year of funding for arts, cultural and educational activities that put “heads in beds” in local hotels and inns. By supporting such activities, the HTID hopes not only to increase Healdsburg’s appeal to out-of-town visitors but to add to the very funds that support the events, the annual bed tax receipts.

There are 31 lodging properties in the HTID within the city limits, and all of them pay a 2% annual assessment, which funds HTID’s activities promoting tourism to Healdsburg. Total funding for the grants over the past three years has averaged $117,000 annually. 

The list of programs that have received HTID grants is a veritable playbill of Healdsburg public events: Corazón Healdsburg, the Alexander Valley Film Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Tuesday Concerts in the Plaza, the Healdsburg Museum, Dia De Los Muertos events, the Fourth of July Parade and Duck Dash, and more.

The grants are processed by a Destination Development Advisory Subcommittee, which includes a representative from the Healdsburg City Council. For the past several years, Evelyn Mitchell has been appointed to fulfill that role. 

“The committee looks for events that meet both the community spirit effort, as well as a clear link to bringing guests to our town. It is a very positive collaboration,” said Mitchell. “The HTID grant program, funded by a self-assessed tax by the Healdsburg hoteliers, is intended to benefit the community members of the city, while also providing venues to encourage visitors to come to our city.”

Her colleagues on the committee include Circe Sher, co-founder of Piazza Hospitality, which manages ownership of Healdsburg Hotel, H2H and the Harmon Guest House. Also on the committee is artist Alex Harris, co-owner of the Harris Gallery on Healdsburg Avenue on the corner of Plaza Street, in the former Healdsburg National Bank. He is the current community representative. 

Sher said she was on the subcommittee because of her experience with local hotels. “Grants are given out twice a year. On average, we receive about 10 requests in winter/spring, and 15 requests for summer/fall,” she said. The current applications are for the upcoming summer and fall, May to October.

Applications are open through Friday, March 10, and grants will be announced on Friday, March 17. The application form is available through the online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/3YTJXTJ.  Priority is given to events or projects that encourage tourism and take place mid-week or in the slow tourism season from November through March. 


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