Less than two months after kicking off its United Arts Fund Drive, the Artsbridge organization has almost met its $130,000 fundraising goal.
Additionally, the chairman of this year's fund drive, John Wharff, announced Tuesday that a $10,000 challenge grant provided by the Fenton Foundation has been matched.
"Any new dollars donated to the Artsbridge campaign 2012 would go toward this grant," Wharff said. "When that amount was reached then the grant would come in as new monies from the Fenton Foundation and as of (Monday) we hit the $10,000 mark."
Tom Fenton, vice-president of the Fenton Art Glass Co., said the Fenton Foundation has supported Artsbridge since its inception 26 years ago.
"Some of the performances and cultural or artistic events they provide to the elementary schools around the area are extremely important we think," Fenton said. "And now when money is tight all around we felt that this is still a very important part of the foundation of this community. Supporting the arts, and doing it through Artsbridge is just about one of the best ways I think you can do it."
The drive officially kicked off March 22. The executive director of Artsbridge, John Hoffman, said it will wrap up June 15. He said anyone who wants to donate can call John Wharff at 373-1490 or Artsbridge at (304) 428-3988 for more information.
How to help
To contribute to the Artsbridge United Arts Fund Drive, mail check or cash to 935 Market St., P.O. Box 1706, Parkersburg, W.Va. 26102 or call (304) 428-3988 or 373-1490 for information.
Financial commitments must be made by June 15.
"Our goal was to raise $130,000 and today we're at $115,000 and change," Hoffman said Tuesday. "Tom (Fenton) and Lynn (Fenton-Erb) and the Fenton Foundation were gracious enough to give us the challenge gift last fall which really invigorated the campaign. It really put a new twist to it and allowed us to really talk to many people about potentially helping. Right now 55 different business, individuals and foundations make up the challenge grant of $10,000 match."
Hoffman noted that the drive is extremely important to the organization because it is its primary source of funding. He said the money supports programs provided by Artsbridge, such as the Very Spectacular Arts Festival and the Catalog of Artists and Performers and Artists-on-Tour series.
"We're getting ready to do our summer music series which is going to be a lot of fun starting June 7 at Parkersburg City Park. It's open to anybody and everybody, just bring a lawn chair," Hoffman added. "You can come when you want to come and you can leave when you want to leave. The nice thing about it is it brings family and friends together."
A total of $30,000 raised through the drive also goes to local arts organizations in the form of grants.