Fund for the Arts Campaign at Midway Point

by ekramer on December 28, 2009

With the local economy still in a precarious situation as the year ends, the Louisville Fund for the Arts annual fundraising campaign is making some strides and working with arts groups to make many adjustments. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Fund for the Arts president and CEO Allan Cowen says the annual campaign — which is now at its midway point — has fared well despite the economy. The campaign did not set out to top last year’s $8.8 million total or even set a goal, but

Cowen says that navigating a battered local economy has been tricky.

“The downside has to do with there’s some companies that either are different corporate structures now or have different-sized business in Louisville — and how you adjust to that is always a challenge,” he says.

He also has seen employees from many area businesses respond well to workplace fund drives held so far.

“Our fall campaign at places like the [Louisville] Water Company, Baptist [Hospital] East, Norton’s [Hospital] — have all been really stellar,” he says. “They all represent double-digit increases.”

Cowen says the Fund also has worked worked with member arts groups to raise earned income and reduce budgets.

“The 15 percent reduction in expenses has been essentially across the board,” he says. “Virtually every arts group supported by the Fund for the Arts has had to tighten their belts — some even more dramatically than that.”

Cowen says Stage One children’s theatre and Music Theatre Louisville, which merged several years ago, has had to cut its budget up to 40 percent. That contributed to this week’s closing of the theaters’ scene and costume shop.

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