In fiscal year 2005, Broward County Cultural Division had a number of groundbreaking events that signified on a large scale, that Broward County arts and culture is a national presence. There were also signals that this presence, and the energy and activity that it generates, is producing results. 2005 Americans for the Arts’ report Creative industries: Arts Business and Employment in Broward County, there are more than 4000 arts-related businesses in Broward County. The study Arts and Economics Prosperity: A Study of the Economic Impact of County Not-for-Profits Cultural Organizations, released by Americans for the Arts in March 2004, showed that there has been $153.2 million in economic impact in fiscal year 2004 by Broward’s cultural industry, a 16.8 percent increase from a similar study done in 2001.
The Cultural Division received a $60,000 Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in December 2004 that was used to leverage and fund an increased number of grants and speakers through the Design Arts Program. The Access to Artistic Excellence grant category funds projects that are of national and regional significance, and that are likely to serve as models for the field. The Design Arts Grant assists with facilitating partnerships between municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to implement community design management projects that improve the aesthetics of the region’s built environment. This program was also recognized by the National Association of Counties through an award.
In March 2005, Broward County Commission approved a $710,000 increase to the arts budget for the 2006 fiscal year and subsequent years, to be distributed through grant programs of the Division.
Division staff executed an award-winning publicity campaign in May when internationally-renowned author and economist Richard Florida visited the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and spoke on Technology, Talent and Tolerance. In his presentation of ideas and vision, Dr. Florida introduced his second book The Flight of the Creative Class, taking a close look at global implications on the ideas of his groundbreaking 2002 bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class. The publicity campaign for this visit went on to win a National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) Award.
Toward the end of the year the Division found itself heading toward a big milestone, as the Public Art and Design program geared up to commemorate 30 years in 2006. A Public Art and Design Committee, led by co-chairs Bonnie Barnett and Chris Wren, was formed to execute the year-long celebration of events, activities, exhibits, outreach programs, and a spectacular lighting project commissioned through the County’s Public Art and Design program.
Also in this fiscal year, the Division was honored with eight awards from the National Association of County Information Officers. Awards were received in graphic design, magazine publication, web tours, calendars, brochures and a Public Art and Design map and guide.
The Cultural Foundation of Broward bestowed the coveted Moretti Award for Artistic Achievement to a stellar member of the cultural community, Joan Mikus, for her outstanding work in completing the 10-year, $5 million renovations and restoration of Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum. This project coincided with the 100th birthday of the three 1905 village buildings: - New River Inn, Acetylene Building and the Philemon Bryan House, in preparation for the City’s 2005 Centennial celebration.