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First Fresno Measure P Arts Grants Are Cloaked in Secrecy
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 13, 2024

The Fresno City Attorney's Office has yet to respond to a Public Records Act request for vital information about the Measure P arts and cultural grants process filed by the local Munro Review. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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The city of Fresno has failed to respond to a Public Records Request from a local digital news site, which reports that up to $9.5 million in taxpayer funding for the first arts and culture grants under Measure P could be awarded “in a shroud of secrecy.”

The Munro Review, which filed the PRA on April 17, seeks the identities of the 43 people who volunteered to evaluate and score the grant applications. The arts website also wants to know the names of the 137 nonprofit groups and artists that submitted grant applications totaling $15.2 million.

“Because that amount far exceeds the $5 million-$9.5 million earmarked for the grants, there will be winners and losers among the 137 applicants, which is certain to raise questions from those who aren’t successful,” writes free-lance reporter Doug Hoagland in a  Sunday story headlined “The Munro Review Demands Public Records as Measure P Grant Process Heads for Final Vote.”

Adds Hoagland: “Disclosing the names and expertise of the volunteers — plus the names of all applicants — would provide transparency and context in the competition for the Measure P money. The information also could disclose any conflicts of interest between the volunteers and applicants.”

City Attorney’s Office Says It Lost the Request

The City Attorney’s Office told the Munro Review that its PRA got lost in its system and the office is getting the pertinent information from the Fresno Arts Council. The arts council has a contract with the city to run the grants program.

“But whether the city will produce the requested information before the May 20 public meeting was unclear as of Sunday, May 12,” the story states.

Read more of this important story at The Munro Review.

 

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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