Friday, April 27, 2001

Fine Arts Fund meets $9.1M goal

By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Thanks to the Corbett Foundation and a few other good friends who stepped in at the last minute, the Fine Arts Fund's 52nd annual campaign met its target of $9,175,000, a record.

        The total, announced Thursday to arts supporters at the Cincinnati Art Museum, is a 3.3 percent increase over last year.

        “It's been a long road, folks,” said campaign chairman John W. Beatty, as he announced the results to the strains of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, sung by members of the May Festival Chorus.

        The goal was met, he said, despite challenges that included the general economic slowdown, the downturn of the stock market and widespread layoffs at Procter & Gamble, the campaign's primary contributor.

        Delta Air Lines, faced with labor troubles, pulled out of the 10-week campaign completely, he said.

        Saying the campaign had met another objective — to increase a declining donor base, Mr. Beatty, a senior partner of Dinsmore & Shohl, said that for the first time, every school in the Cincinnati Public Schools participated.

        “It is such an incredible tribute to the people in this community and the business leadership and the people who love the arts,” he said.

        The Corbett Foundation and other groups were approached in the last two weeks when the campaign was about $250,000 short of its goal. In the past, the foundation has given directly only to the individual arts organizations.

        “We felt that this time it was particularly crucial for the arts and cultural life of Cincinnati, and we wanted to be part of that,” said Karen McKim, Corbett Foundation executive director.

        The Fine Arts Fund, founded in 1949 and overseen by the Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts, primarily distributes money among Cincinnati's eight largest arts institutions. Of more than $8.89 million raised in 2000, more than $8 million was shared by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Playhouse in the Park, Contemporary Arts Center, May Festival and the Taft Museum of Art.

        Nine associate members shared $317,000; the institute's Community Arts Fund allocated $318,000 to 70 smaller arts organizations.


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