Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo meets $100,000 fundraising goal

Emilee Geist

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo has officially raised its 2020 annual appeal goal of $100,000, the organization announced in a news release. The $100,000 was secured by drawing over $50,000 in public donations, as well as a dollar-for-dollar match of $50,000 by an anonymous donor, […]

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo has officially raised its 2020 annual appeal goal of $100,000, the organization announced in a news release.

The $100,000 was secured by drawing over $50,000 in public donations, as well as a dollar-for-dollar match of $50,000 by an anonymous donor, the release said.

The funds raised by the annual appeal allow the Arts Council to provide the resources to help artists continue to grow and thrive, supporting dance, theatre, music, public art and other cultural outlets, the release said.

The Arts Council provides access to a broad range of artistic and cultural opportunities through grants, promotion, advocacy, and free programming to the seven-county region it serves.

“We cannot express our gratitude to the community, donors, and supporters for helping make this goal a reality,” Arts Council Executive Director Kristen Chesak said in the release. “While the world around us has been in flux over the past several months, there are so many stories of hope and positivity happening within the arts and culture communities.

88% of the Arts Council’s budget goes directly back into supporting community programs like Art Hop, Summertime Live, All Ears Theatre, Art on the Mall, as well as fiscal sponsorship and grant programs, the Arts Council said.

This year, the Arts Council has dished out thousands to local artists of all mediums as part of the Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative. The grant has funded travel programs to demo recording projects to community murals.

“This funding ensures that we can remain engaged in creative expression that defines who we are as a community and makes Kalamazoo a vibrant and special place to live,” Chesak said. “We could not exist without this generous support.”

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo serves as one of 10 regional agencies that help allocate Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs funding for mini-grants and professional development efforts. The region served includes the following counties: Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.

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