Lexington mayor Jim Newberry, photographed in March during a round table discussion with Vice-mayor Jim Gray and LexArts President and CEO Jim Clark about government's role in the arts in Lexington. Copyrighted Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com photo by Angela Baldridge.
LexArts has matched Mayor Jim Newberry's $150,000 challenge grant, which he issued earlier this year to spur expanded giving to the arts.
In April, Newberry issued the challenge in addition to a $350,000 contribution to LexArts annual Campaign for the Arts. Funds raised from the Campaign are allocated to LexArts beneficiary organizations, such as the Lexington Philharmonic and Actors Guild of Lexington, and community arts grants, which are available to organizations and individual artists. LexArts president and CEO Jim Clark said the new funds from the challenge grant will be distributed in much the same way.
"It’s a win for our community, which will have more opportunities to enjoy the arts because of the increased funding, and a win for LexArts, which has expanded its donor base," Newberry said in a news release. "This is the kind of change that can have a long-lasting, positive impact on our community."
Not only was the grant contingent on LexArts raising matching funds, but they had to be first-time donors, and their contributions could not exceed $1,000. In the end, LexArts received contributions from 1,118 new donors at an average of $136 each.
In issuing the challenge, Newberry said he hoped to replicate the matching-fund approach, "to magnify the impact of LFUCG support for vital services in our city."