By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Allied Arts has announced that a total of $3,412,315 was raised for central Oklahoma’s arts community through this year’s fundraising efforts.
The 2015 campaign raised $3,287,315. An additional $125,000 was brought in through.partnership with successful events. The total amount raised has surpassed $3.4 million for only the second time in Allied Arts history.
Chairing this year’s fundraiser was John Parson and Renzi Stone. They worked with a team of volunteers that made the campaign a success.
“We are thrilled to announce that Allied Arts surpassed the $3.4 million mark,” said Parsons. “This shows the continued support our community has for the arts.
“We are grateful to every donor, volunteer and member agency that gave and helped with the campaign and our events. They ensured that our local cultural community remains strong,” Parsons added.
To celebrate, Allied Arts recently hosted an event at Park House at the Myriad Gardens. Approximately 175 Circle Club and Catalyst members, campaign volunteers and member agency representatives were in attendance.
Presenting Sponsors for the event were The Chickasaw Nation, Devon Energy Corporation and OGE Energy Corp, and the Performance Sponsor was The Oklahoman.
The program included comments from Allied Arts board chair Lonny Towell; the 2015 campaign co-chairs, John Parsons and Renzi Stone; and 2015 Honorary Chairs, Dr. Robert Ellis and Mrs. Nancy Payne Ellis.
Parsons and Stone recognized Allied Arts’ top supporters and the team of volunteers who served on the campaign cabinet.
Corporate donors included Allied Arts Visionaries – The Chickasaw Nation, Devon Energy Corporation, and OGE Energy Corp.
“Our Visionary donors have shown steadfast and generous support to Allied Arts,” stated Stone. “We are appreciative of their partnership and their dedication to central Oklahoma’s arts community.
“We are also thankful for the many organizations that hosted employee giving campaigns at their workplace this year,” Stone added. “Employee giving campaigns are important because they provide opportunities for everyone to invest in their community,”
“Each of the participating organizations fosters a culture of philanthropy in its business and understands the significance of the arts for our economy, our neighborhoods, and our quality of life.”
Employee giving campaigns were held at 87 organizations across the state and raised more than $472,000 for Allied Arts.
The top-producing employee giving campaigns were Devon Energy Corporation, employees of the City of Oklahoma City, American Fidelity Assurance, Ackerman McQueen, INTEGRIS Health, Bank of Oklahoma, employees of the State of Oklahoma, SONIC America’s Drive-In, The Oklahoman, and OGE Energy Corp.
“The money raised through the campaign will go to support local nonprofit arts organizations and ensure that access to the arts is available to all,” said Deborah McAuliffe Senner, Allied Arts president and CEO.
“Thanks to the community’s continued support of Allied Arts, our local arts groups will have the resources they need to remain strong, reach underserved populations and to offer quality programming to the public.
“We are grateful to everyone who gave their time and resources to aid the campaign and sponsored events this year. Thank you,” she added.
As Oklahoma’s only United Arts Fund, Allied Arts works to broaden support for the arts by raising financial support for the arts and related organizations, encouraging participation and attendance, advocating for arts education, and promoting excellence in the arts and arts management.
Last spring Allied Arts distributed $137,881.69 in educational grants to fund 47 projects that support arts experiences for underserved youth in the community and forlocal arts organizations.
“These grants provide the opportunity for direct investment in the educational programs and capacity-building plans of these arts and cultural organizations.” stated Tricia Everest, Allied Arts board member and grants chair. “The funded projects will have a positive impact, not only on the agencies and the people that are directly served, but on the entire community.”
Founded in 1971, the organization has raised more than $57 million to advance the arts in central Oklahoma. For more information, visit alliedartsokc.com or call 405-278-8944.