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Contact: Brittany Lesser

Governor Scott’s "It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget" Recommends $7.8 million to Promote and Improve Cultural Heritage Tourism

Tallahassee, Florida –

Governor Scott today recommended $7.8 million dedicated funding going towards programs supporting library cooperative grants, cultural programs, and historic preservation to stimulate cultural heritage tourism and overall economic development. Governor Scott’s "It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget" highlights include $1 million for Library Cooperative Grants, $5 million for Cultural and Museum Grants, and $1.8 million for Historic Preservation Grant funding.

"Under Governor Scott’s leadership, the Department of State directed Viva Florida 500, the successful 500 year commemoration of Juan Ponce de León landing on Florida’s shores. This celebration not only created opportunities for learning and development, it boosted economic activity in the state as well. In a period of 12 months, approximately $2.55 billion in direct spending is attributed to cultural and heritage tourism activities in Florida," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "Governor Scott’s renewed commitment to fund libraries, cultural programs and historic preservation will continue to benefit Florida’s families."

In 2011, in anticipation of 2013 and the 500 year anniversary of the naming of La Florida, Governor Rick Scott appointed the Florida Department of State as the lead agency for the major initiative, Viva Florida 500. VISIT FLORIDA attributes this initiative as a significant driving force behind the last year’s record visitation numbers. Going forward, Viva Florida’s momentum will transition from the 500th anniversary year and build on the over 2,000 strong partnerships formed to promote Florida’s history to increase cultural heritage tourism.

"Last year’s record tourism numbers were in part due to the effective implementation of Viva Florida 500," said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. "Governor Scott’s foresight to create more opportunities for tourism in our state demonstrates his effective leadership and I look forward to reaching our goal of 100 million visitors to the Sunshine State."

"The success of Viva Florida 500 reflects Governor Scott’s support for education and cultural heritage tourism," said Janine Farver, Executive Director of the Florida Humanities Council. "Through Viva Florida 500, Floridians and visitors were able to experience the state through programs and events all year that promoted our vast history. We look forward to pursuing our ongoing efforts in the coming year to inform and inspire."

Recommended Funding Highlights

Library Cooperative Grants ($1 Million)

"The sharing of information is vital for local libraries to make public resources available to promote education and reading," said Luly Castro, Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Library Network.  "I commend Governor Scott for his efforts to encourage the distribution of information from library to library, to ensure that every Floridian can access the information and assistance they need."

The state's priority for the Library Cooperative Grant program is to facilitate and encourage resource sharing of library materials among Florida libraries. The fundamental core of library resource sharing in Florida is the statewide database which contains books and other materials owned by libraries of all types in the state. Citizens are able to use materials even if their local public library does not own the item which can also be a cost savings for local libraries. The statewide database currently contains over 42 million resources and each is available for use by library patrons.

Cultural and Museum Grants ($5 million)

"A recent study from VISIT FLORIDA found that 65% of visitors to our state participate in culturally based activities, verifying that the investments made in the arts and culture boost tourism, expand economies, revitalize communities and increase jobs," said Malinda Horton, Executive Director of the Florida Association of Museums. "This funding will also support creative industries by allowing Floridians to cultivate their artistic dreams and encourage others to live theirs. I’m thankful to Governor Scott for his dedication to cultural and museum grant funding."

Cultural and Museum Grants are designed to support the general program activities of an organization engaged in conducting, creating, producing, presenting, staging, or sponsoring multiple cultural exhibits, performances, events, or providing cultural services during the grant period. Eligible applications are reviewed in an open competitive process by peer review panels and are reviewed by the Secretary of State. Grantees match awards dollar for dollar with cash and in-kind contributions.

Historic Preservation Grants ($1.8 million)

"The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is grateful to Governor Scott for his recommendation to include funding for historic preservation grants," said Rick Gonzalez, President of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. "These grants not only provide significant aid to communities who are working to restore their past- the funds in turn create jobs and economic growth."

Historic Preservation Grants preserve Florida’s historical and archaeological resources through restorations and rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures, as well as through the survey and evaluation of historic and archaeological resources. These grants also offer Floridians and visitors more ways to learn about the state’s history by increasing cultural heritage tourism activities and programs.

For more information on Governor Scott’s "It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget," please visit