The Art of GivingThere’s no question the performing arts play a large part in the culture and unique spirit of the Twin Ports. Many artists, dancers, musical performers and actors make their home in this region because of the prominent role the performing arts play in daily life. On any given night, one can wander the streets and encounter a slew of arts-related entertainment.
By: J.L. Kuhlman, Living North
There’s no question the performing arts play a large part in the culture
and unique spirit of the Twin Ports. Many artists, dancers, musical performers and actors make their home in this region because of the prominent role the performing arts play in daily life. On any given night, one can wander the streets and encounter a slew of arts-related entertainment.
Organizations such as the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, The Playhouse and the Minnesota Ballet play a large role in creating the welcoming atmosphere.
Many of these organizations receive grants as part of their funding, but most, if not all, non-profit art organizations rely heavily on private donations through sponsorship and fundraising.
Most of the proceeds of fundraising events are put toward overhead costs such as performance and practice spaces, utilities, employee wages and production costs.
Without fundraising and sponsorships, the price of tickets to a single performance would be prohibitive for the general public.
Listed below are three performing arts organizations and the fundraising events they’ll be hosting throughout 2011.
The Minnesota Ballet
On April 14, the Minnesota Ballet will host its annual Wine and Cheese event in the Depot’s Great Hall. The fundraiser will include fine wine and microbrew beer tasting, silent and live auctions for wine related items and a short dance number performed by members of the Ballet.
“The goal of fundraising is to make dance accessible for everyone,” said Betsy Holcolmb, chairperson for the Minnesota Ballet.
The Minnesota Ballet also hosts the Sugar Plum Fair, a kick-off to the
Nutcracker season. The event includes a silent auction, desserts and a ballet performance. Because of the low cost to attend, just $5, the
money raised comes almost exclusively from the silent auction and merchandise purchased during the event. All proceeds go towards financial aid for students of the Minnesota Ballet, some of whom could not afford to attend classes.
Other fundraising events include the Fall Black and White Ball in September and the Celebrity Dance Challenge in February.
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra
The orchestra’s annual fundraiser, the Symphony Ball, is scheduled for May 21. This year’s theme is “Spectactular Soirée and All That Jazz.” The evening will begin with food and jazz music in the Duluth Entertainment
Convention Center’s City Side Ballroom and then move to the auditorium for a jazz performance by the orchestra, chorus, and a special guest jazz violinist. The night will end in the ballroom with late-night jazz and an open bar. “This is an evening to show new patrons that the symphony is not
just boring classical music,” sids Barb Darland, marketing director for the orchestra. “Our attempt is to make the symphony a lively, fun and accessible event for all patrons.”
The Duluth Playhouse
The Duluth Playhouse will wind up its run of the musical “Chicago” with a fundraiser at the Clearwater Grille. A speakeasy theme, gangsters, flappers, “illegal” gambling and an encore performance of “Cell Block Tango” will be just part of the entertainment on the evening of April 30.
“This is a night to be part of the performance,” said Tessa Lenneman, promotions manager for the Playhouse. “We also encourage attendees to dress the part.”
Money raised from the events goes primarily to the general operating costs for the organizations. A percentage also goes to youth and community education programs. Though it takes a lot of time and energy to put on a fundraiser, the events increase community awareness and involvement and create educational opportunities for students and the community.