Darke County Endowment for the Arts was established in the 1990s following the highly successful fund-raising campaign headed by Darke County Center for the Arts enabling the restoration of Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall. Funds left over at the completion of the restoration project provided the basis for the Endowment’s Memorial Hall Fund, dedicated to the continuing preservation of Henry and Ella St. Clair’s legacy so that the beloved building can continue to serve the community for years to come. Many projects have benefited from DCEA’s Memorial Hall Fund including restoration of the magnificent stained glass windows adorning the main lobby which renewed the breathtaking beauty that inspires and awes visitors to the revered building.
The ultimate purpose for the Endowment is to keep the arts alive in Darke County forever; therefore, another DCEA fund benefits Darke County Center for the Arts, helping the local arts council achieve its goal of culturally enriching our community by presenting high quality professional artists. This fund has helped DCCA purchase equipment necessary to meet the ever-changing and always upgraded technical requirements of performing artists, while also providing great enhancement to light and sound capabilities within the Hall, assets also enhancing enjoyment and delight for all concerned.
DCEA’s General Fund underwrites the Endowment’s mission to assist local artists and organizations, in part through an annual grant program which provides money for deserving arts projects. Past grants have helped make possible musical performances at Darke County Park District events as well as Municipal Band concerts at Greenville City Park, purchased supplies for Gettysburg Cardinal Center’s summer art camp, and aided individual artists who wish to purchase needed equipment or take advantage of educational opportunities. Art teachers have requested and received funds for special projects with costs beyond the limited amounts available through school budgets; Bear’s Mill’s “Art at the Mill” exhibits have received assistance, as have arts performances at the Annie Oakley Festival.
If you or your organization are planning a project that will advance the arts in Darke County and need financial assistance, you still have time to apply for a DCEA grant; this year’s deadline for applying is Monday, April 30. Applications are available on-line at the Endowment’s Website, www.SupportDCEA.org, as well as at the law office of Attorney Gary Brown at 414 Walnut Street. The amount available for distribution is, of course, determined by funds available, which brings us to a further bit of necessary explanation.
In order for Darke County Endowment for the Arts to fulfill its purpose by providing financial support to worthy projects, funds must first be donated to the organization. For that happy circumstance to occur, those citizens believing in the Endowment’s commitment to keeping the arts alive and well within our community must be aware of DCEA and its vital mission. Now that you know about DCEA and its purpose and understand the importance of the arts to a vital community, consider remembering the organization as part of your legacy planning. And if want to help keep the arts alive forever in Darke County, you can make a donation right now to help fund a worthy local artistic project, to assure that Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall remains a vital community arts center, or assist Darke County Center for the Arts as it continues to present outstanding programming. Send your donation to Darke County Endowment for the Arts, P.O. Box 155, Greenville, OH 45331; more information can be found at www.SupportDCEA.org.
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.