ArtsGreensboro Grants Decline in Funding

Shayna Prace
Staff Writer

PC: Charles Smith

ArtsGreensboro, an organization that donates money annually to local art groups of Greensboro, has announced that they will be giving less money this year.

The announcement made by the organization explained that this year, the organization donated more than $300,000 to 22 groups and organizations, which was down 24 percent from the 2017-18 year. The money awarded, $303,049 to be exact, was given based on dollars already received by ArtsGreensboro’s annual ArtsFund campaign, rather than on fundraising projections.

Seven of the organizations received larger grants, totaling $228,413. These organizations were the largest on the list of groups which included the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, who received $48,000, and Triad Stage, who received $45,000.

The remaining fifteen groups received grants aimed to help with specific projects, which totaled $74,636. These grants ranged from $1,000 given to Triad Pride Performing Arts to $10,000 given to Music for a Great Space.

Most of the groups received less than they were given the previous year.

“It’s not a reflection on the quality of the organization or its application,” said Amy Grossmann, ArtsGreensboro interim president and chief executive officer. “There was just a smaller pool of money from which to allocate funds during this transitional year.”

In the past, ArtsGreensboro has distributed grants in the same year in which the money had been raised. In years when fundraising goals were not met, this became more difficult. In 2018, their fundraising campaign was $140,000 short of reaching the goal of $1 million.

To help eliminate this issue, ArtsGreensboro announced in March 2018 that they would switch to a calendar year rather than the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. The goal from this change is to have more money ready to be able to award to the chosen groups and organizations.

Although ArtsGreensboro is confident in this change, many of the grant recipients worried that it would reduce the amount they would receive.

Last year, ArtsGreensboro raised $141,000 to give to several recipients, according to Grossmann. That accounted for 75 percent of what they would have received.

Now, having gone through six months of the fiscal year, they could better determine where the 2019 grants would go.

The next fundraising goal has not yet been announced, but Grossmann expressed optimism in their future.

“We have all kinds of things we are planning to bring in money for the rest of the fiscal year,” Grossmann said.

Many nonprofit performing and visual art groups use ticket sales, donations and grants as a primary source of income in order to present shows and pay their bills, but this alone is often not enough.

Local groups are exploring new ways to bring in funding, being brought about through a cultural arts master plan. This plan aims to find a source of annual revenue such as a food and beverage tax.

Grossmann says she is pleased with changes being made to the grants process, which includes panel members being from outside Greensboro and unfamiliar with the applicants.

“Given the grant pool we established … I feel great about the way we were able to distribute and allocate the awards,” Grossmann said.



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