PORTER | Indiana Dunes Tourism is encouraging cities, towns and nonprofit organizations to apply for grants for marketing projects to help promote their festivals and events, sporting competitions and conferences in 2014.
The goal of the grant program is to foster and fund events, activities and programs that promote the development and growth of tourism in Porter County.
"The grants we award are designed to bring visitors from outside the county and have them spend their money locally," said Patti Boyer, who is Indiana Dunes Tourism operations director. "Although the goal is to encourage visitors to come to Porter County, local residents benefit because more money is brought into the county and because residents get more festivals and events to enjoy."
In 2013, Indiana Dunes Tourism will honor at least 36 grants totaling more than $40,000. The 2013 grant recipients include the Chesterton Art Fair, Kouts Christmas Open House, Valparaiso University Jazz Fest, Valparaiso’s Shakespeare in the Park and Portage Township Summerfest.
The grants can be used for advertising, printing and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays or by municipalities and nonprofit organizations to develop brochures, websites and other tools that encourage visitation.
There are four grant categories: festival and special event, sporting event, marketing and convention, meeting and seminar.
Organizations may be awarded up to $5,000 the first year, $2,500 the second year and $1,500 the third year.
Organizations interested in the 2014 Tourism Promotion Grant Program should visit www.indianadunes.com/about-indiana-dunes/grants/ and download a copy of the grant application. Applications also may be picked up at Indiana Dunes Tourism, 1215 N. Ind. 49, Porter. For more information, call Boyer at (219) 926-2255, ext. 225.
Applications for 2014 grants must be completed and submitted by mail, fax, email or in person to Boyer by 4 p.m. Sept. 13.