You may know that the Annie Oakley Festival takes place this weekend at York Woods, continuing a long-standing beloved local tradition. You may also know that the event includes entertainment featuring local favorites The Green deVilles and Spittin’ Image. But did you know that funds helping make possible the inclusion of these popular artists come from a local non-profit organization whose purpose is to receive and manage charitable gifts for the specific purpose of benefiting the arts in Darke County?
You may know that Darke County Center for the Arts will be hosting an exciting theatre residency by Missoula Children’s Theatre next week offering local youth the opportunity to participate in a full-scale musical production at historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall. But did you know that much of the funding for that residency has always come from an organization which was formed to keep the arts alive and growing in our community? You may have enjoyed the High School Art Show last spring featuring the work of students from all local schools; did you know that much of the funding for the Arts Start program which helps provide needed supplies for the school’s art classes comes from an organization dedicated to providing hands-on experience with the arts for local citizens of all ages?
You may know that Greenville Municipal Band presents free Sunday evening concerts in Greenville City Park throughout the summer. But did you know that the band has for many years received financial support from Darke County Endowment for the Arts, the very same organization that not only provided the previously-listed assistance, but also happily distributes funds each year to help local groups and individuals reach their artistic goals!
In addition to the above-mentioned events, DCEA’s annual grant distribution for 2017 provided funding for Gettysburg Cardinal Center’s Arts Camp for local youngsters, supported historic Bear’s Mill “Art at the Mill” series, and will help pay the performing artists at Darke County Park District’s upcoming Prairie Days event. But wait, there’s more! The Boys and Girls Club will have financial help so that youngsters can experience an arts-related outing and photographer and graphic artist C. J. Jasenski received funding for materials needed to prepare and mount his work for an upcoming exhibit.
And that’s not all of the benefits the Endowment has bestowed upon our community. Originally established with funds left over from the 1980’s campaign to restore Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, DCEA has continued to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of that iconic structure. The most recent restoration of the Hall’s beautiful stained glass windows was accomplished with major funding from the Endowment, and the recent renovation of the auditorium made possible by funding from the state of Ohio was overseen by DCEA and school officials.
In addition to the Memorial Hall Fund dedicated to the preservation of the magnificent treasure that is Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall and the General Fund from which the annual grants are drawn, the Endowment manages the Darke County Center for the Arts Fund, which underwrites the community arts council’s mission to promote cultural enrichment. Monies from this fund have helped DCCA purchase equipment needed to keep up with ever-changing technology required by the high-quality performing artists they bring to Darke County; without these constant upgrades, such presentations could not continue.
So, now you know how Darke County Endowment for the Arts helps funds the arts in our community. But do you know how you can help keep the arts alive? You can be a participant in all the wonderful benefits provided through the arts by donating to DCEA. Individual gifts are always welcomed and sorely needed, but you can also contribute by remembering the Endowment in your will, leaving a legacy that helps keep the arts alive forever in our community. Gifts and inquiries should be sent to Darke County Endowment for the Arts, P.O. Box 155, Greenville, OH 45331.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.