macaw on top of sign

© Paul Selvaggio. At the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, visitors can learn about animals and their environments with new accessible signage (printed words, sound, touch), funded by a RAD Special Projects-Accessibility grant.

June 8, 2018

RAD Board Actions: 2019 Application, Request for Comment, New $$ for Arts, and Director Re-Appointment

News Releases

PITTSBURGH—With a flurry of activity, the RAD Board yesterday:

  • announced that RAD is now accepting applications for 2019 funding, with a deadline of 4:30PM on July 16th;
  • re-appointed Daniel Rosen, PhD, as the at-large member of the board of directors;
  • invited regional assets, elected officials, civic leaders and the public to provide comment on the future structure of the grant making program with regards to annual and long-term contracts;
  • and awarded new 2018 funding to arts and culture organizations for a merger, and to enhance the work of the newly-founded Youth Music Pittsburgh.

“It is RAD’s priority to preserve a group of high quality, well-managed, diverse and inclusive regional assets, and to reach the widest possible audience,” said Daniel J. Griffin, RAD Board Chair. “Our application process is open and public, so we welcome all eligible regional assets to apply for funding to sustain and enhance our libraries, parks, sports and civic facilities, and arts and culture programs.” In 2018, RAD will provide $99.9 million in grants to nearly 100 assets in these categories.

Applications for 2019 Funding

      RAD’s annual budget process begins with the application that is open on Friday, June 8th for 2019 funding. It continues with applicant hearings, release of a preliminary budget, a public hearing in the fall, and ends with a budget adoption in December. Funding goals, categories, eligibility and guidelines can be found at radworkshere.org/pages/apply-for-funding. While RAD will accept applications for discretionary capital projects next year, the Board also emphasized at the meeting that the ability to fund this area is dependent on revenues and that projects should be “shovel-ready projects” and with additional considerations, including financial support from other sources and long-term sustainability.

Re-Appointment of Dr. Daniel Rosen

            The Board re-appointed Daniel Rosen, PhD, to his fifth term as the at-large member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Rosen was nominated by Landforce, a community and workforce development organization that helps restore and maintain land and green assets by providing professionally-skilled crews who assist in environmental management. Dr. Rosen is the David E. Epperson Professor of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, with expertise on organizational capacity, aging, substance abuse, late-life depression and barriers to treatment. In its nominating letter, Landforce Executive Director Ilyssa Manspeizer noted Dr. Rosen’s dedication to the region through his volunteer service, leadership roles and “commitment to our region’s most vulnerable populations,” Dr. Rosen’s term expires in June of 2020.

Request for Comment on RAD Grant Program Structure

            RAD is seeking comment on its grant program structure, requesting written input by July 31, 2018. The five-year renewal agreements with the nine existing contractual assets expire at the end of 2019. The District must decide whether to continue or revise the grant program structure at that time as permitted by the governing law. A preliminary recommendation will be made by a board committee to the full District Board at the September 2018 board meeting.

            Those with comments or suggestions on how the District should structure its future grant program are requested to send them in writing by July 31, 2018 to rh@radworkshere.org (mark “Year 2020 Comments” in subject line), or via postal mail to Mr. Richard Hudic, Executive Director, Allegheny Regional Asset District, 436 Seventh Ave., #2201, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

      Background: In 1995, pursuant to provisions of its governing law, RAD awarded ten-year agreements to a group of major community assets historically supported by Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh. These agreements guaranteed annual minimum funding levels at least equal to the public hearing they received prior to RAD’s creation. This category of assets is referred to as “contractual” assets and includes the Allegheny County Library Association, Allegheny County regional parks, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, City of Pittsburgh regional parks, City of McKeesport – Renziehausen Park, National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

         In addition to the contractual assets which currently receive about 70% of the District’s funding, RAD has traditionally awarded a larger number of “annual” operating grants to assets that do not have multi-year agreements or carry minimum funding guarantees and some project grants for capital and other designated purposes. (See radworkshere.org for current and historical funding levels for all assets.)

         After extensive community consultation and in recognition of the progress assets made in improving facilities and programs, RAD renewed the contractual asset terms for additional five years in 2005, 2010 and 2015, leaving in place the original minimum funding guarantees even though District support for these assets has grown significantly over the years. No additional contractual assets have been designated since the initial group.

New funding for arts and culture organizations to “Connect”

     The RAD board approved $84,000 in new funding for arts and culture organizations today, in the category of Special Projects-Connections grants: