By Errol Castens/Daily Journal Oxford Bureau
OXFORD – The Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau received more grant applications than ever before in its first year of annual-cycle management for tourism-related grants.
Until Fiscal Year 2012, grant requests had been accepted throughout the year.
Mary-Kathryn Herrington, director of tourism, said committee members “created … a process that is more diplomatic and has measurable economic impact for Oxford. We hope this will encourage groups to implement our funding to grow and expand their wonderful events which contribute to the growing number of visitors we attract to Oxford.”
The annual-cycle process enables grant reviewers to compare applicants and steer awards toward those that generate the most tourism spending in Oxford and Lafayette County.
“This has been a process that has bugged me forever,” Nicole Boyd, the Tourism Council’s outgoing chairman, told grant committee members. “We really, sincerely appreciate the work that y’all have done on this.”
Grants are especially aimed toward events that bring people to Oxford during the summer and other off-peak times for visitors.
Grants were approved for the following events in FY 2013:
• Oxford Film Festival, $15,000
• Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Festival, $6,000
• Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference, $5,000
• Oxford Conference for the Book, $4,750
• Oxford Shakespeare Festival, $3,000
• U.S. Tennis Association Mixed Double State Tournament, $2,500
• Oxford Run for Hope, $2,500
• Ford Center Season, $2,500
• Oxford Holiday Market, $2,500
• Oxford Fiber Arts Festival, $2,350
• Double Decker Spring Run, $1,000
“We see all of these groups as partners in a shared goal of bringing people to Oxford,” said Katie Morrison, the Tourism Council’s newly elected chair. “We want to assistant events that want to grow but also those that are new and hold great potential.”