Higher than expected sales tax revenues in the city has given Orem CARE tax recipients a potential shot in the arm.

For more than 15 years, Orem residents have voted to have .01% sales tax go to keep the arts alive in the community. Half of those revenues go to parks and recreation and public facilities like the fitness center and the new library hall.

During the council’s Tuesday work session, applicants for the large grants gave their reports on how CARE tax helps them keep their cultural programs and facilities projects are going.

The large grant recipients are only allowed to request 35% of their total operational expenses. Typically, they ask for as much as they can and take what is granted.

CARE tax projections for the cultural arts grants portion for the 2019-2020 season is $1,132,250 based on $2.3 million in city sales tax revenue projections through the end of the current fiscal year ending June 30.

Small (up to $4,999) and mid-range grants (up to $9,999) will take about $70,000 of that money.

Hale Center Theater Orem

Hale Center Theater Orem has requested $1,142,282 in CARE tax grants. The theater received $340,000 for the 2018-2019 season.

“We really couldn’t do what we’re doing without the city’s support,” said Cody Swenson, executive director.

The theater’s mission is to provide high quality intimate theatrical experience while maintaining affordable ticket prices.

According to the application, the theater had 150,000 attend or participate in events during the 2018 season.

Besides the popular theater in the round, the Hale Center Theater Orem has the Hale Academy for the Performing Arts and the Hale Archive Costumes.

They offer a seven-show season, mainly musicals and comedies. There are also five junior musical productions for youth performers 18 years and younger.

Hale Center Theater Orem recently announced a major building project and intends to build a new larger location at University Place.

They have held 15 vocal recitals, offered more than 100 vocal master classes and provided 6,068 private vocal lessons over the last year.

SCERA Center for the Arts

SCERA is celebrating its 85th year servicing the Orem community. It has requested a CARE tax grant of $703,362. It received $570,000 for the 2018-2019 season.

“CARE really does allow SCERA to thrive not just survive,” said Adam Robertson, president and CEO.

In its application it was stated that, “anytime a curtain rises, so does the quality of our lives.”

The SCERA Center includes two indoor theaters, the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theater, SCERA shop building for costumes, props and scenery, SCERA art studios and the Orem Heritage Museum.

They have several volunteers that have a total of 130,532 volunteer hours of service this past year.

SCERA produces 11 plays and musicals each year, 10 youth theater productions (more than 350 youth performed), 17 concerts, six outdoor movies, three free Sunday firesides, two free community events, a puppet festival, eight art exhibits, 22 children’s summer matinee movies and 48 films for Senior Cinema Classics.

SCERA provides 115 arts education classes for all ages and special programs for home-schooled children.

They also partner with several organizations that include the LDS Film Festival, Utah Lyric Opera, Freedom Festival, Summerfest and the Utah Metropolitan Ballet.

Utah Metropolitan Ballet

As returned recipient of major grants, the Utah Metropolitan Ballet has requested $75,000 for the 2019-2020 season.

The Ballet’s mission is to inspire, unite, educate and captivate the community. It includes 18 paid dancers, six apprentices and 28 trainees.

The ballet offers four full scale professional productions each year. It also offers the children’s performing arts series. This May the children’s production will be Cinderella and will include 180 youth participants.

“CARE helps keep ticket prices between $10 and $30,” said Steven Carter, director. “With additional funding we hope to expand the annual Nutcracker performances to the Noorda Center for the Arts at Utah Valley University.”

The ballet also provides a special showing each year (this year Cinderella) free to families who have children with autism and other sensory issues. The event is followed by a special meet and greet with the dancers.

The three entities will find out what the 2019 allocations will be at the next council meeting on May 14.

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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