Three Local Arts and Cultural Projects Receive Grant Funding

The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s COCA Cultural Facilities Matching Grant. Three local arts and cultural organizations – Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Tallahassee Community College Foundation, and Tallahassee Museum – have been awarded a total of $461,495 for their projects.

The COCA Cultural Facilities Matching Grant Program offers support and funding for renovation, new construction, acquisition or equipping of cultural facilities located in Leon County or the City of Tallahassee. A cultural facility is a building that shall be used primarily for the programming, production, presentation, exhibition, or any combination thereof, of arts and cultural disciplines including, but not limited to: music, dance, theater, creative writing, literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, folk arts, photography, crafts, media arts, visual arts, programs of museums, historical sites, and historical/heritage facilities. The intent of this grant program is capital improvement that will either enhance the property’s overall value or increase its useful life. COCA’s program is funded under contract with Leon County.

Each year, volunteer citizen panelists are recruited to review and score grant applications and make recommendations for funding for approval by the COCA Board of Directors. The approved recommendations are forwarded to the Leon County Tourism Development Council for review and then the Board of County Commissioners for final approval. This rigorous and highly accountable process is reviewed and revised annually by a community task force.

“As identified in the Capital Area Cultural Plan, our cultural organizations needed to improve or expand their facilities, to better create arts and cultural experiences for visitors and community members,” said COCA Executive Director Kathleen Spehar. “This grant program allowed for much-needed capital improvements to occur. We’re grateful for the County’s support and celebrate the positive impact it has made on our community.”

The program has been funded through a portion of the tourism development tax, and this is the final year this grant program will be offered. Over the course of four grant cycles, COCA has awarded a total of $1,245,331 to the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, FAMU Black Archives, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, LeMoyne Arts, Tallahassee Community College Foundation, and Tallahassee Museum for projects as diverse as the creation of a black box theater; equipment upgrades; accessibility improvements; bear enclosure renovation; land acquisition; classroom construction; and restoration, renovation, and expansion of historic buildings.

COCA is pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Visit Tallahassee and Leon County to distribute these funds, and is eager to identify other possible funding opportunities, in partnership with the County, that can continue to meet the ever-changing and growing needs of our cultural community.

About COCA:

The Council on Culture & Arts is a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for development and support of arts and culture in Florida’s capital region. For more information about the COCA Cultural Grant Program, or other resources that COCA provides, please visit, call 850-224-2500 or email