OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., February 5, 2020 – Under the leadership of campaign co-chairs Julie and Mark Beffort, Allied Arts kicked off its 2020 community-wide fundraising campaign to raise more than $3.4 million for central Oklahoma’s cultural community. Allied Arts board chair Steve Mason welcomed more than 350 donors, sponsors, volunteers and government leaders attending the Campaign Kickoff event at the Embassy Suites by Hilton last night.

The event featured inspiring performances by a variety of nonprofit organizations supported by Allied Arts and the reveal of the Allied Arts 2020 campaign video highlighting three individual impact stories.  Funds donated to Allied Arts ensure free and affordable programming for all, arts education opportunities in underserved schools and healing arts opportunities for sick, disabled and veteran populations. Organizations represented at the Allied Arts Kickoff event included: Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, Oklahoma Youth Jazz Ensemble, Life Change Ballroom, Cimarron Opera, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and the Sooner Theatre.  

The annual community-wide campaign additionally provides an opportunity to honor individuals for their philanthropy, leadership and contributions to the community. Mark Beffort announced, “In 2020, Allied Arts will recognize James A. Pickel as our honorary chair. In the 49-year history of Allied Arts, Pickel has served Allied Arts as campaign chair, board chairman, a member of the Allocations Committee and a chair for the biennial Opus Gala. Through his service with Allied Arts, Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma Arts Council and many other organizations, Pickel has donated countless hours and resources in the effort to enrich the lives of all Oklahomans.”

Campaign funds provide grants to more than 40 arts and cultural organizations in central Oklahoma and have a statewide reach. For Allied Arts member agencies, funds are used to offset operating costs; underwrite productions, performances and exhibits; create new programming; and provide free and affordable arts programming. In addition, the campaign reaches beyond member agencies by awarding grants to qualified nonprofit cultural organizations to expand the reach of youth arts education and strengthen organizational capacities.

Just $10 provides a pair of ballet slippers for an afterschool program, while $25 underwrites 50 quality music lessons for financially disadvantaged students. A $100 donation provides visual arts programming for 15 seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Some donation levels provide benefits for the donor. Individuals donating $50 or more receive the OKCityCard, a premier entertainment discount card offering year-round savings at more than 400 arts events and activities, local retail stores and restaurants. Those donating $1,000, $1,500, $2,500 or more will receive additional benefits and donor group membership.