Community donates over $500,000 to Eastern Shore Art Center
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WPMI) —
The Eastern Shore Art Center (ESAC) has exceeded its fundraising goals for the Capital Campaign launched in 2016. The most recent donation of $10,000 by the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival Committee/Foundation brought the total raised to $531,000.
“The community really rallied on behalf of the Art Center for our campaign, which included a $200,000 match by the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation,” said Bryant Whelan, Executive Director at ESAC. “Over 400 individuals, foundations, and businesses contributed to the effort.”
“While visually what people see is our beautiful new front exterior renovation,” Whelan continued, “what they don’t see were the much-needed improvements to the infrastructure made possible with those donations. The purpose of the capital campaign wasn’t just for an entrance face-lift. We were able to bring fire and security systems up to code and install new HVAC systems to address climate controls necessary for art preservation. Our exhibit lighting systems are now updated. And we are in the process of refreshing and re-installing our outdoor sculptures.”
Rick Kingrea, the newly appointed president of the ESAC Board of Directors, commended the past Board for the successful fundraising campaign. “We are also excited about the prospect of beginning several additional projects that have been on the back burner pending completion of the renovation,” said Kingrea. “The additional funds raised will make those projects possible, thanks to our generous donors. As a nonprofit (501c3) organization, ESAC is funded entirely by donations, charitable grants, and memberships, so these contributions literally keep ESAC thriving.”
Kingrea noted that while the capital campaign concerned facility improvements, this year one of the art center’s biggest goals will be to continue extending ESAC opportunities and programs to more people along the entire Eastern Shore including Daphne, Spanish Fort and all of Baldwin County.