Tuesday, January 20, 1998, Vol. 112, No. 9

Arts council increases fund raising figures by $460,000 Arts council campaign raises almost $3 million By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE The Daily News The Memphis Arts Council has completed a successful fund-raising campaign, with 1997 figures topping 1996 by $460,187. Contributions totaling $2.96 million from individuals, government, foundations and corporations were raised by the campaign. The councils Center for Arts Education (formerly Arts in the Schools) received notably increased allocations, including $250,000 from the Day Foundation and $100,000 from the Assisi Foundation. In May, the Day Foundation awarded the Center for Arts Education a $1 million challenge grant over four years, to be matched by $1.5 million. To date, the council has raised $850,000 of the challenge. John Pettey and Mars Widdicombe, volunteer fund drive co-chairpersons, attributed the success of the 1997 campaign to individual giving, which was up $176,507 from 1996. A total of 3,450 individual donors contributed $938,677, up from 2,013 donors in 1996. "I think people are recognizing the importance of arts to our community," Pettey said. "Weve had some disappointments recently in terms of sporting teams, and people are realizing the arts are a great source of entertainment. I think increasingly Memphians are seeing the importance of it and turning their interest to it. "Also, the quality of our organizations is very good in the performing and the visual arts," he said. The large increase in individual donations came from the successful Workplace Giving campaign among Memphis City Schools employees, resulting in $5,000 and 60 new donors, and from additional donors brought in by a challenge from business executive and Arts Council board member Willard Sparks. Corporate donations were down in 1997 by more than $400,000. The total of corporate giving, which was $957,749, was contributed by 295 businesses. Janie McCrary, vice president for development, attributed the decline to the loss or merger of several locally based businesses, and the fact that several long-term corporate donors "didn't pitch in" this year. "Its disappointing, in light of the report from the Business Committee on the Arts that stated corporate support for the arts is up nationwide that this has not held true in Memphis this year," McCrary said. Challenges earned large increases for the arts in 1997. The Hyde Challenge, first issued in 1990 by J.R. "Pitt" Hyde as an impetus for large individual donations, gained $507,740 this year, up $142,000 over 1996. Hyde promised a $40,000 personal gift if the council could produce other individual donors to give $2,500 or more for a total of $300,000. Seventy individuals this year joined the Hyde Challenge. The Sparks Challenge resulted in $149,844 new dollars for the arts. Sparks gave an additional $50,000 over his usual contribution when the council matched it with new contributions of $1,000 or more over previous gifts. Sixty participants helped fulfill this challenge. Foundation giving in 1997 totaled $454,760, and government donations were up $60,000 at $602,000. Workplace Giving, a program begun eight years ago which solicits individuals in the workplace, raised $115,212 from 1,675 donors, up $23,000 from 1996 with an increase of 1,000. The Memphis City Schools campaign raised nearly $25,000 from 1,000 employees. McCrary said the importance of a thriving economy and a growing awareness of the importance of the arts, particularly for children, were factors in the overall success of the find-raising effort. "That was last year, and of course we are extremely proud and appreciative," McCrary said. "But now its 1998, and we're setting our sights on doing it again only better."