LexArts’ annual campaign tops 2010’s but misses goal

Phillip High's "Glade Runner" and Barbara Harper-Bach and Neil Suiler's "Old Lexington" (closest, on the right) stood waiting for auction at Lorillard Lofts in December. LexArts officials say the public event probably helped the 2011 Campaign for the Arts instead of hindering it, as it was believed to have done in 2001. © Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley.

Phillip High's "Glade Runner" and Barbara Harper-Bach and Neil Suiler's "Old Lexington" (closest, on the right) stood waiting for auction at Lorillard Lofts in December. LexArts officials say the public event probably helped the 2011 Campaign for the Arts instead of hindering it, as it was believed to have done in 2001. © Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley.

Despite several hurdles, LexArts’ 2011 Campaign for the Arts topped last year’s total, though it did not meet its goal.

The goal was $1.1 million, set after LexArts raised $1.003 million last year. This year’s campaign was just ahead of that pace, at $1,012,056, which LexArts president and CEO Jim Clark said was gratifying, all things considered.

As the follow-up campaign to Horse Mania 2010, the 2011 campaign had history working against it. The 2001 arts ­campaign, on the heels of Horse Mania in 2000, also fell short of its goal because the public art project drained available funds and energy, officials said at the time.

This spring, LexArts lost $100,000 in annual allocations from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Clark credited a successful $50,000 challenge grant from Mayor Jim Gray and Gray’s donation of $39,368 from his salary for ­meeting the goal.

Clark also pointed to other positive trends in the campaign, including an increase in corporate giving, bucking a national trend. Ultimately, he said, the challenges buoyed the campaign.

In a news release, he said, “It goes to show you that people in this community have a philanthropic spirit and value the arts on a deep and meaningful level.”

Money from the campaign is used for LexArts’ allocations and grants for area artists, arts organizations and other projects.

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