Sunday, May 24, 2009

Funding For The Arts: Done The Right Way!

In today's Kalamazoo Gazette, I read an encouraging article that began this way:

KALAMAZOO -- As dwindling arts funds are further cut, some organizations are coming up with creative ways to raise money without the help of a government bailout.

One such organization is the nonprofit SmartShop Metal Arts Center, at 516 E. North St., where the "Forge the Future Fundraiser 2009" will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday to raise funds to support day-to-day operations and staffing at the arts center, as well as scholarship costs for those in the community who can't afford to take a class or workshop there.

The fundraiser "goes to the things that we are having and have had a hard time getting funding for," said Holly Fisher, founding executive director and instructor at the SmartShop.
It was interesting that nowhere in the article did I read any bellyaching about how the state/county/city/federal government was cutting their funding, or that it was somehow government's responsibility to step up and pour money into their accounts. They simply are planning what many private schools, organizations, and non-profits do when they feel a need for additional funds: They plan a fundraiser that they believe will be entertaining for their constituency and profitable for themselves. Good for them!

I also found it encouraging that this organization has an educational component:
Vincent Faust, president of the SmartShop's board of directors, said the SmartShop is worth supporting because it offers the community skills-based instruction in the metal arts both from an arts perspective and a practical, job-based perspective through its classes and workshops in welding and forging. He said the center offers special programs for those in the community who are in need.
No matter how high-tech our world gets, there will always be some degree of need for those who weld, forge, and work with large-scale metal projects. I commend them for filling a niche—without my taxpaying dollars—and wish them success in the future.

1 comment:

Brenda Brough said...

Now here's a perfect example of doing things the "old-fashioned" way!! Raising money THEMSELVES and making it a fun time for all to BOOT!! Responsibility's all about PERSONAL responsibility.