NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodNortheast Tallahassee


Tallahassee art, cultural organizations turn to community for help following state budget vetoes

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 19, 2024
  • Governor DeSantis vetoed grants for cultural institutions and museums from the state's budget.
  • It resulted in a loss of $900,000 in funding for these organizations in Leon County.
  • Watch the video to hear from them about the help they need from the community.


While state leaders say Florida's recently-signed budget is focused on Florida's future, some in Tallahassee say they feel left behind.

Summer Callahan, Grants Manager for COCA - "In Leon County, it means a loss of $900,000 in funds to non-profit arts and cultural organizations."

I'm neighborhood reporter Kenya Cardonne in Northeast Tallahassee.

I'm adding up how vetoes to the state budget have impacted cultural institutions in our neighborhoods, plus the efforts being made to help them fill the gap.

More than $900,000 in grants that were cut from the state's budget now has Leon County's art and cultural organizations turning to the community for help.

In his veto message, Governor DeSantis says he issued "$949.6 million in line-item vetoes that will result in a budget reserve in excess of $17 billion."

I spoke with Althemese Barnes, Founder of the John G. Riley House Museum — one of several local institutions affected by the veto.

She says at first she thought the veto was a mistake and when she realized it wasn't, she felt..

Althemese Barnes, Founder of John G. Riley House Museum - "Stunned, kind of sad in a way.."

Callahan - "Well organizations are going to have to look at the programming that they're able to offer and make cuts."

The folks with Leon County's Council on Culture & Arts, or COCA, tell me the grants help to fund programs, staff, artists and skilled experts that keep our local arts and cultural organizations going.

To help fill the gap, COCA is working to provide their own grants.

Callahan - "But the thing is that everybody is going to be competing for those grants and donations so it's going to get leaner."

They say the biggest way the community can help is through unity and by adding to the pot of donations needed to support these institutions.

Barnes - "Not just for the upcoming fiscal year but even looking ahead in case, and we hope not, we find ourselves in this situation again."

Below is a list of institutions in our neighborhoods impacted by the veto:

-621 Gallery, Inc.
-Florida Art Education Association, Incorporated
-Florida Association of Museums Foundation, Inc.
-Florida School Music Association, Incorporated
-Florida State University Museum of Fine Art
-Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Inc.
-John Gilmore Center for African American History and Culture Lemoyne Art Foundation, Inc.
-Making Light Productions
-Opening Nights
-Southern Shakespeare Company, Inc.
-Tallahassee Little Theatre, Inc.
-Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, Inc.
-Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
-Tallahassee-Leon County Cultural Resources Commission
-The District Board of Trustees of Tallahassee Community College
-The Florida Music Education Association, Inc.
-The Tallahassee Bach Parley, Inc.
-The Tallahassee Ballet, Inc.
-The Tallahassee Community Chorus Inc.
-The Ringling at FSU
-Young Actors Theatre of Tallahassee, Inc.

In Northeast Tallahassee, Kenya Cardonne, ABC 27