'I'm thrilled and touched': Art City receives outpouring of support from community amid funding delay

'I'm thrilled and touched': Art City receives outpouring of support from community amid funding delay

Art City is reaching out to the public for help after a delay in funding has forced some outreach programs to be put on hold.

The not-for-profit said it’s waiting on $86,000 in funding from a few sources, though it’s not naming where the funds are coming from.

“It put us at a critical point where it really put all of our operations at jeopardy,” said Josh Ruth, Art City’s managing editor.

The organization, stationed in West Broadway, provides free art programming to inner-city kids. It also offers outreach programs at 12 other locations throughout the city.

One of the locations where programming has had to be suspended is in the Maples.  

Ruth said, “One of the children at the workshop, whose name is Sincere, said, ‘Well, say goodbye to your favourite place on earth.’”

The organization launched a crowdsourcing campaign in hopes of raising $50,000. Ruth said that would be enough money to keep all of the programs running until the end of this year.

In one week, nearly $30,000 has been raised.

“I’m thrilled, and touched, and I know that Art City is an incredibly important part of the community, and it speaks to something much larger than ourselves,” said Wanda Koop, Art City’s founder.

While Koop is overwhelmed with the community’s support, she said it’s often difficult getting funding for the arts.

“To think that funding for the arts is not important, I think funding the arts should be of the most importance,” said Koop.

On top of Art City’s fundraising, local businesses are also stepping up.

One of those is Hunter and Gunn, located just down the block from Art City on Broadway.

Owner Jeremy Regan is donating all of his tips from this week to the organization.

“Them being on the street and being a vital part of this couple of blocks, I wanted to kind of do something for them,” said Regan.

He said some of the other employees will also be donating their tips.

Winnipeg photographer Adam Kelly is also doing his own fundraiser for Art City. He’ll be selling dozens of his prints and donating 100 per cent of the proceeds to the organization.

“It’s like helping out, and in exchange you get a nice piece of art, you know, it’s kind of a win-win,” Kelly said.

He’s worked with Art City in the past, and said it’s an incredible place for children who may not have the same advantages as others.

“Otherwise they’re not going to get exposure to creativity or to art, or a safe space or being encouraged to express themselves,” said Kelly.

Art City said once it receives the delayed funding, it plans to use some of it to create a reserve fund, which can be used if there is another funding delay in the future.

Published at Mon, 23 Oct 2017 20:14:26 -0400