ArtsKC Fund campaign raises a half million dollars

Many area arts organizations receive grants from the ArtsKC Fund sponsored by the ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council.
Many area arts organizations receive grants from the ArtsKC Fund sponsored by the ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council.

Individual donors were big contributors to the 2016 ArtsKC Fund annual fundraising campaign, the ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council said Wednesday evening.

The 2016 campaign received pledges of $500,203, slightly less than last year’s $519,000, but organizers said they were pleased with the commitments received.

Fifty Kansas City area companies or nonprofits conducted workplace giving campaigns this year in support of Kansas City area arts and performance organizations and individual artists.

The workplace giving campaigns, aimed at encouraging employees to support the arts, generated 27 percent of the total 2016 donations.

Andrea Robinson, ArtsKC’s development director, said the rest of the commitments represented 20 percent from individuals, 16 percent from corporate gifts, 16 percent from foundations, 15 percent from the city of Kansas City and 6 percent from special events.

Lydia Allen, ArtsKC Fund manager, said that broad base of support was important to ensure “an important investment in Kansas City’s cultural legacy.”

The fundraising campaigns for the arts began in 2007. Since then, more than $4.6 million has been donated, and more than 800 grants have been distributed by the ArtsKC organization.

“While we are extremely proud of the results of this year’s campaign, we know the demand for these grants will only continue to increase as Kansas City’s cultural community grows,” said campaign chairman Steve McDowell.

Robinson said this year’s results showed that many donors, especially young professionals, like direct involvement with the organizations they’re helping to fund. The ArtsKC outreach includes an Encounter program that allows donors to have backstage visits and other “intimate encounters” with the arts, provided they give at a suggested level, she said.

“That was definitely working as an incentive,” Robinson said.

The closing event for the annual campaign was held on the Lead Bank Crossroads rooftop at 1801 Main St. The organization also announced that its 2017 ArtsKC Fund campaign goal will be $550,000.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford