Brevard arts, culture organizations losing thousands in grants from county commissioners

Numerous arts and cultural organizations are looking for new funding after $530,000 in grants were cut by County Commissioners.

There are 25 organizations that were stripped of grant funding they rely on. The Brevard Symphony Orchestra is celebrating 70 years and is forced to make cuts after losing out on thousands of dollars.

"It happened in an instant, and it’s just very unfortunate," said David Schillhammer who’s the executive director for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra.

The Orchestra lost $25,000, and it’s affecting their season.

"It’s going to go to the finance committee to see what we may be able to cut and eliminate on our 70th anniversary," he added.

At their last commission meeting, all five commissioners voted in support to re-allocate cultural and tourism grant funding to lifeguards instead.

The Valiant Air Command in Titusville was also caught off guard, losing $25,000.

"It’s going to make a tough difference to some of us," said Ron Davis who’s part of the air museum.

Some commissioners say they didn’t like how – or where -- the money was going.

"I don’t like what we’re doing with them. I don’t think we have a good flow with what they’re doing. They’re the same things over and over," said Rita Pritchett who represents District 1 and worked to find ways to re-allocate the money to lifeguards.

Some organizations have more money than others. The Space Coast Art Festival is a free community event put on by volunteers who are worried. In a statement sent to FOX 35, the festival says: "Without community financial support of cultural programs, many will not be able to continue and once again, Brevard County residents will have to travel to other areas of the state for cultural entertainment, just as it was 60 years ago."

The art festival lost $15,000 from the county and is scrambling to make ends meet before the annual event in October.

Space Coast Pride is also losing $15,000 for its upcoming festival on September 23. In a statement sent to FOX 35, the group says: "…the fact that their work and the work of all the other potential recipients of the grants are not going recognized this year or future years, is a loss for the county and the residents of Brevard."

All these cultural organizations are standing together. They say, now is a good time to buy a ticket to your favorite show and support the arts however you can because many are making do with less funding than they were planning for.