Lexington mayor Jim Newberry released his budget for the fiscal year 2009 Tuesday, which means LexArts got news about the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government's contribution to its Campaign for the Arts. For the most part, it sounded like a repeat of last year, minus $50,000-to-$100,000, depending on how you take it.
The LFUCG is set to give LexArts, pending Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council approval, a $350,000 contribution to the campaign, and it has issued a $100,000 challenge grant. Last year, the Mayor (copyrighted photo, right, by David Perry) gave the campaign $350,000 and issued a $150,000 challenge geared toward attracting new donors to LexArts. The group met the challenge in September.
With that news, we asked LexArts president and CEO Jim Clark a few questions about the allocation:
Q: How do you feel about the $350,000 contribution to the campaign?
A: I am pleased the Mayor Newberry maintained LexArts’ base level of support. Knowing the Mayor would be hard pressed to provide the same package as last year ($350k base with $150k Challenge), we budgeted just for the base amount.
Q: Where does that set the campaign in relation to the goal?
A: We are now just $50k short of the goal which is $1,125,000.
Q: What is the nature of this $100,000 challenge? Is it another new-donor drive or something different?
A: We have not discussed the details yet, but I am aware that Mayor Newberry wants to work with us to craft a plan that helps us attract new or increased gifts – last year we focused only on new gifts which were capped at $1,000 per donor.
Q: How do you feel about having another challenge this year?
A: I feel great and grateful. This is a difficult budget year, yet the Mayor has maintained his commitment to the arts and culture as part of his economic development strategy for Lexington. The arts and culture are integral to enhancing the quality of life and making this place attractive to businesses.
Q: When does the campaign end?
A: The official end date is April 15 and it looks like we are going to be able announce GOAL on that date – of course, we will accept gifts after that date, right up to the end of our fiscal year, June 30.