LexArts has set its highest goal ever for its annual Campaign for the Arts. The 2008 fund-raising drive will aim to collect $1.125 million from individual, business and government donors.
“It was not long ago that Lexington was completely dominated by sports,” campaign chair Julie Young said at a kickoff event Feb. 15 at Spindletop Hall. “Lexington is ready for this kind of campaign.”
Young has been involved in the Lexington arts scene for more that 25 years, most recently heading the search committee that found Actors Guild of Lexington artistic director Richard St. Peter. Part of the reason for Young’s confidence is that the campaign already has secured $530,000.
Last year’s campaign raised $1,028,678, plus an additional $300,000 later in the year when the arts umbrella organization met a $150,000 challenge grant issued by Mayor Jim Newberry. The grant was contingent on all of the contributors being new LexArts donors, and the gifts could not exceed $1,000 each.
“I hope the challenge will be a gift that will keep on giving,” Newberry said at the campaign kickoff.
But LexArts President and CEO Jim Clark said he also is hoping his organization doesn’t have to take on a new challenge. Like last year, Newberry did not promise a specific contribution from the Lexington Fayette Urban-County Government, as previous mayors have. Newberry said he wanted
to set an allocation in consultation with the Urban County Council. Last year’s allocation was $350,000, plus the challenge.
Clark said LexArts is hoping for a $500,000 allocation with no challenges this year, “since we demonstrated we have community support last year.”
Funds raised by the Campaign for the Arts are disbursed to groups such as the Lexington Art League and Lexington Children’s Theatre, and for Community Arts Grants, Gallery Hops and the annual arts showcase weekend.
For more information on the campaign, visit LexArts website or call (859) 255-2951.