Volusia County’s ECHO Program: Cultural projects funded since 2000

In 2000, Volusia County residents voted to reinvest in cultural infrastructure by approving a tax referendum which will sunset in 2021. Since it was approved by voters in 2000, Volusia County’s ECHO (Environmental, Cultural, Historical, Outdoor) grant program has provided nearly $85 million to more than 200 projects that fall under the environmental, cultural, historical or outdoor recreation categories. More than $16 million has been spent preserving cultural places and performance spaces to fuel an exposure and love of the arts. In order to use an ECHO grant, an applying and receiving organization must raise the same amount of matching funds for the project and there is heavy criteria to make sure the mission of promoting arts and recreation is adhered to.

Resolution 2000-156 states: It is the intent of the County Council that the funds be allocated throughout the County to provide broad geographical distribution and apportioned appropriately among the environmental, cultural, historic, and outdoor recreation projects. The Volusia ECHO Program seeks to enhance the quality of life of Volusia County’s residents by working to achieve the following goals over a broad geographic base:

• Provide environmental/ecological, cultural, historical/heritage, and outdoor recreational facilities.

• Preserve significant archaeological or historic resources; and develop, enhance, and promote heritage tourism opportunities, experiences, and resources.

• Foster public memory and community identity by promoting and providing access to destinations and experiences associated with past events, peoples, and places within the County of Volusia.

• Provide high quality, user-oriented outdoor recreational opportunities including, but not limited to, access to the Atlantic Ocean through the establishment of oceanfront parks and off-beach parking.

• Improve the quality of life for Volusia’s citizens by providing access to the cultural arts; increase cultural based tourism; and encourage redevelopment and revitalization of downtown and urban areas through the provision of cultural arts facilities.

With the tax referendum’s planned sunsetting in 2021, the people of Volusia County have to make some decisions. Without extending this referendum, Volusia County would be out major dollars to reinvest in culture. In order for the initiative to continue, a public campaign must be mounted by members of the public.

Atlantic Center for the Arts

Expansion & Renovation of Atlantic’s Cultural Venues Complex $120,502

Daytona Playhouse

Daytona Playhouse Renaissance $400,000

Shoestring Theatre

Shoestring Black Box and Teaching Theatre $70,000 Theater Restoration & Upgrade $120,000

Enterprise Preservation Society, Inc.

Enterprise Heritage Center $41,000

City of Daytona Beach

Peabody Auditorium Renovation $300,000 Bandshell Stabilization $350,000 Midtown Cultural & Education Center $1,200,000 Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural & Educational Center $600,000 Jackie Robinson Ball Park/Museum $500,000

Pioneer Art Settlement

Joseph Underhill House $239,643

Gateway Center for the Arts

Gateway Center for the Arts $402,854

Stetson University

Stover Theater Historic Renovation $388,522 Homer & Dolly Hand Art Center $600,000

Bethune-Cookman Foundation

Mary McLeod Bethune Home $259,600

Museum of Florida Art

Exhibition & Collection Care Facility Improvement Project $51,199

Heritage Preservation Trust

Lillian Place $425,000

Town of Ponce Inlet

Meyer-Davis House & Hasty Cottage/Post Office Restoration Project $223,195

Museum of Arts & Sciences

Children’s Museum $1,043,000

Cultural Arts Center, Inc.

Cultural Arts Center Facility Redesign $100,000

Daytona State College (Daytona Beach Community College)

Southeast Museum of Photography $1,308,048

Ormond Beach Historical Society, Inc.

Three Chimneys Archaeological Ruins Stabilization $26,500

City of Ormond Beach

The Casements & Rockefeller Gardens Restoration $500,000

DeBary Art League, Inc.

Gateway Center for the Arts $1,000,000

Historic DeLand, Inc.

Dutton House $234,800

Sands Theater Center, Inc.

Athens Theater Renovation Project $766,245

Leisure Services-Volusia County

New Smyrna Sugar Mill Historic Site $125,500

Enterprise Preservation Society, Inc.

Enterprise Heritage Museum Historical Schoolhouse Relocation $79,500

Lively Arts Center, Inc.

News Journal Center $600,000

City of Lake Helen

Creative Arts Café $156,626

Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts

Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts $184,720

County of Volusia

DeBary Hall Historic Site $735,000 Dunlawton Sugar Mill Historic Site $61,731

City of Port Orange

Amphitheater Pavilion Phase 4 $420,000

Bethune Cookman College

Performing Arts Center $500,000

Daytona Beach News-Journal

News-Journal Center $1,000,000

Little Theatre of NSB, Inc

Little Theatre Expansion $467,000

African American Museum

New Museum Complex-Phase I $100,000


Athens Theatre Renovation $500,000