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Fund for the Arts Launches Public Campaign

The Louisville Fund for the Arts launched the public period of its annual fundraising campaign today. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has details.A string of arts groups and artists performed in a showcase at the Brown Theatre marking the launch of this last leg of the Fund’s current campaign. It’s raised more than $4 million so far and looks to raise $5 million more for its 27 member groups.Last year, it raised $8.8 million of its $10 million goal.Fund president and CEO Allan Cowen says matching grants from Yum! Brands, Brown Forman and the Humana and Gheens foundations are bolstering this campaign. The goal is to at least match the amount raised last year.Cowen also says the current recession has caused it to work with member groups to trim nearly $3 million from their operating budgets. (In recent months, Stage One has had to cut its budget by 40 percent.) He says the cuts were necessary to make sure that all member groups survive the recession."If we don’t priorities now, when economic occurs, things just wont’ be here," he says. "You will have less or you won’t have programs at all. And I think it’s one of those times you do set priorities."But that hasn’t kept the Fund from planning for the future. Cowen announced it is inviting all kindergarten and first-grade students, at no charge, to a Stage One production."And the goal is inviting the community into the arts," Cowen says. "And we think that by beginning it with the youngest children in our community, we will be able to provide a gift to the community and build for great future audiences."Cowen says he expects the effort to bring up to 300,000 children to a Stage One performance.But in the next five month, the Fund for the Arts will be going to nearly 250 businesses in the community for contributions to help it reach its campaign goal.Related StoriesArtists Suffer Under Recession; Researchers Look at Economic Impact (includes information on Stage One)Fund for the Arts Campaign at Midway Point