• Overview
  • 2019/2020 CU Application & Workshops
  • 2020 Call To Artists and Writers
  • Budget
  • Allowable Expenditures


In the 1980s, the citizens of Monroe County passed referendums authorizing a 3-cent sales tax on tourist lodging (the bed tax) to be used for tourist advertising, promotion, and some tourist related capital projects.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) passed several ordinances to implement this tax including one that created the Tourist Development Council (TDC) to recommend expenditures of the bed tax revenue and to administer the expenditures. (The County Clerk is actual custodian of the funds. He/she writes and signs all checks which are co-signed by the County Mayor.) The TDC is an advisory committee to the BOCC which has final approval of all TDC actions. The nine members of the TDC advisory board are appointed by the BOCC.

To accommodate the different geographic communities of the Keys, five District Advisory Committees (DACs) were created. They are DAC I-Key West; DAC 2-The Lower Keys: DAC 3-Marathon; DAC 4-Islamorada; and DAC 5-Key Largo. The DACs recommend expenditures for approximately one-third of the revenue which is divided among the districts according to the percentage of revenue collected in the district.

To accommodate three keys-wide industries, three "umbrellas" were created: the Dive Umbrella, the Fishing Umbrella, and the Cultural Umbrella. DACs and Umbrellas are unique to Monroe County.

The District Advisory Committees and the Umbrellas are advisory committees to the TDC and BOCC. Almost always the TDC and the BOCC approve the recommendations sent to them.

The Florida Statute allows bed tax funds expenditures for administration, advertising, promotion, and some tourist related capital projects and maintenance. The statute has been interpreted more narrowly in Monroe County than in other Florida counties.

The money allocated to the Umbrellas and DACs is distributed by an application process. Successful applicants are reimbursed for approved expenditures. The applications are rated by a point system based on the goals of the TDC. Factors included are Heads in Beds in Off-Season, Enhancement of Visitor Experience, Amount of Local Support and Showcasing of the Destination.

The DACs and Umbrellas each have Recommendation Committees that review the applications and recommend which are funded.

Originally the county contracted with the Key West Art and Historical Society to administer the Cultural Umbrella Funds. For the past few years, the Florida Keys Federation of Chambers had the contract to administer these funds.

In the meantime the Florida Keys Council of the Arts was created and flourished. It became recognized as the appropriate organization to administer the cultural umbrella and requested the job. In August the BOCC, by Resolution, turned it over to the FKCA as of 1/1/02.

Out of the blue

Application for CU Funding 2019-2020 (pdf)

Cover Letter and Application Guidelines 2019-2020 (pdf)


Tinsley Media Presentation

Cultural Umbrella funding is used for the advertising, promotion and marketing of cultural events taking place between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.
Organizations intending to apply for Cultural Umbrella funding are strongly encouraged to attend one of the free workshops on the application and the media/marketing procedures being offered by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. Please register in advance by contacting the Arts Council office at 305-295-4369 or info@keysarts.com. 

Two convenient locations:

Key West
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
11 a.m.

Gato Building, First Floor Conference Room, 1100 Simonton Street.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
2 p.m.

History of Diving Museum Conference Room, 82990 Overseas Highway 
(MM 82.9).


The Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Tinsley Advertising and the Cultural Umbrella Committee of the Florida Keys & Key West are issuing a call for writers and visual artists interested in producing articles for the Culture 2020 magazine.

2020 Culture Magazine. Deadline: February 22, 2019.
To Apply Click Here

I dream of turtles

Cultural Umbrella Budget

FY 2019-2020
Cultural Umbrella Total   $800,000
Cultural Generic Advertising Campaign (30%) $240,000
Event Funding   $560,000
DAC I 54% $302,400
DAC II 7% $ 39,200
DAC III 16% $89,600
DAC IV 10% $56,100
DAC V 13% $72,800


Moon channel

Definitions of Allowable Expenditures

Allowable Expenditures Download (pdf)

Key West Sunset

2015-2016 Cultural Umbrella Budget

Cultural Umbrella 2015-16 Budget