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Lawrence events can receive funding through the city; grant applications are now open

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Applications are now open for a grant program that helps fund some of Lawrence’s iconic events.

As part of the city’s 2024 budget, the Lawrence City Commission set aside $150,000 in Transient Guest Tax (TGT) funds to support a competitive grant program for events. Community members can apply for 2024 TGT grants as of Wednesday, according to the program’s webpage. The fund is supported by a special tax on lodging.

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The program provides funding for events that “Demonstrate a measurable economic benefit including enhancing the cultural economy or travel/tourism economy, creating additional transient guest tax and sales tax” and “Enhance Lawrence’s unmistakable identity and reputation for tourist activities, demonstrating the pull of regional visitors,” according to the website.

This year’s funding cycle will include events scheduled for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2024. An advisory board reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the City Commission about funding allocations. Commissioners then vote on approval and final funding decisions. Grants are limited to $15,000 maximum.

Some of the Lawrence events that received funding from the program this year include the University of Kansas First Nations Student Association’s Powwow and Indigenous Cultures Festival, Lawrence Kansas Juneteenth Celebration, Lawrence PRIDE, and Paper Plains Zine Fest. See the full 2023 list on the city’s website.

Two informational meetings for anyone interested in learning more about grant funding are scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2 and 3 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3. City staff members will give a presentation and field questions during each meeting.

The meetings will be held in-person at the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Administrative Office, 1141 Massachusetts St., and online via Zoom video conference. Register to attend the Nov. 2 meeting via Zoom with this link, and the Nov. 3 meeting via Zoom with this link.

Attendance is optional and not required for grant eligibility.

Applications for the 2024 Transient Guest Tax grant program are due by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.

The application and grant guidelines can be found online at lawrenceks.org/lprd/tgt-grants. Contact Roger Steinbrock, communications and events manager, by calling 785-832-3458 or emailing rsteinbrock@lawrenceks.org.

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