GREENSBORO — With 11 days left in the fiscal year, ArtsGreensboro already has surpassed its $850,000 goal for its annual fund drive.

As of Wednesday, ArtsGreensboro has raised more than $865,500 from 780 donors for its ArtsFund.

The amount also surpasses the $853,300 that the drive raised in the previous year.

Campaign leader Jada Monica Drew announced results to date at Wednesday’s annual celebration of ArtsGreensboro. The nonprofit organization helps to build and finance the local arts scene and also manages the N.C. Folk Festival.

“We have increased our donor base,” Drew said. “We have developed so many different community partnerships. And we truly led a friend-raising campaign.”

Supporters gathered at HQ Greensboro applauded the news.

The ArtsFund represents Guilford County’s largest comprehensive annual fundraising effort to support arts organizations, initiatives and infrastructure.

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, its ArtsFund raised $860,000, falling short of its $1 million goal by $140,000.

This year’s goal is in line with last year’s results. It also considered what it projects to raise by June 30, Drew said in an earlier interview.

It provides financial support to more than 50 nonprofit organizations, projects, artists and teachers.

“This is why we do what we do,” Drew said Wednesday, pointing to a list of those who have received recent grants.

The gathering gave ArtsGreensboro a setting in which to celebrate its accomplishments, announce awards and look to the future.

“What a year it has been,” said Jill White, who chairs ArtsGreensboro’s board.

White cited the murals created throughout the city and the construction of the downtown Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, expected to open in March.

In December, the City Council adopted a cultural arts master plan, a roadmap to enhance the city’s arts scene. ArtsGreensboro wants to collaborate with that effort, its leaders said.

“Just as the arts landscape in our city is constantly evolving and changing this year, so, too, has ArtsGreensboro seen significant change and growth,” White said.

In 2018, Tom Philion retired as president and chief executive officer. Amy Grossmann, who directs the N.C. Folk Festival, also became interim CEO while the board conducted a national search for a new leader.

ArtsGreensboro found that leader in Laura Way. The former executive director of GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art, she became president and CEO on April 2.

Way wanted to give the organization an outward focus.

She started monthly meetings with artists and arts organizations on the second Tuesday of each month at different locations. The next one will be at 5:30 p.m. July 9 at Scuppernong Books.

Through those meetings, “What I realized was that people want ArtsGreensboro to succeed,” Way said. “They want us to raise more money so that they can get more grants. But what they really want is someone to convene people and to bring them together and to ask everyone, ‘What are solutions to the problems we face in our creative community?’”

“And what we found ... is that people want to help each other,” Way added. “People want to find solutions to systemic problems in the creative community. And they’re willing to put the work in to do it together.”

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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