Allied Arts Launches Annual Fundraising Campaign for the Arts


Allied Arts honorary chairs Larry and Polly Nichols with campaign chairs Aimee and David Harlow

Under the leadership of campaign chairs Aimee and David Harlow, Allied Arts kicked off its 2018 fundraising campaign to raise at least $3.125 million for central Oklahoma’s cultural community. Allied Arts board chair Tricia Everest welcomed more than 400 sponsors and volunteers attending the kickoff event at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum on Thursday evening, January 18.

The event featured inspiring performances by a variety of nonprofit organizations supported by Allied Arts through allocations and grants. Funds are needed to ensure free and affordable programming for all, arts education in underserved schools, and healing arts for the sick, disabled and veterans. The event gave these artists the opportunity to tell their personal stories about how their lives have been transformed by the arts. Performers represented at the Allied Arts kickoff event included: El Sistema, Life Change Ballroom, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and The Sooner Theatre.

The annual campaign also provides an opportunity to honor individuals for their philanthropic leadership and contributions to the community. In 2018, Allied Arts will recognize Polly and Larry Nichols. The Nichols have been committed to making Oklahoma a great place to call home. Through their service with Allied Arts, as well as a number of cultural nonprofits including Arts Council Oklahoma City, Myriad Gardens, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Ballet and Science Museum Oklahoma, the Nichols have donated countless hours and significant resources in the effort to enhance quality of life for all.

Campaign funds provide grants to more than 40 arts and cultural organizations in Oklahoma. 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 arts education and strengthen organizational capacities.

“Allied Arts receives no city, state or federal funding and yet we fund programs that reach all 77 counties,” said Allied Arts President/CEO Deborah McAuliffe Senner. “This is a community-wide campaign, and as such, the arts need the support and attention of the entire community. A gift of any size can make a difference.”

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.

Additionally, Mike Turpen was presented with the inaugural Aubrey McClendon Visionary Award for the Arts in honor of his dedication to fundraising for the Oklahoma cultural community.

To close the event, Senner invited the community to become ambassadors for the arts. “Together we can make it to $3.125 million and beyond!”

For more information or to contribute, please click here or call (405) 278-8944. Donations are tax-deductible and accepted any time.

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