Against all odds, I’m starting 2022 with a full heart and a strong dose of inspiration and hope. And it’s thanks to Arts Corps donors.
Our supporters gave $118,317 in donations to support youth arts education through our year-end campaign- far exceeding our original goal of $50,000! This level of generosity gives us greater ability to take risks in service of our mission of revolutionizing arts education; it serves as another reminder that when we trust in the abundance of our community and place our hope in generosity, we’ll be ok. More than ok. Because our young people have space and support to be their full creative, beautiful selves.
As 2021 drew to a close, I felt hope and optimism eluding me like never before. With dear friends fighting cancer, family members struggling with other health challenges, Omicron spreading like wildfire, and ongoing systemic issues taking their toll on our collective bodies and minds, the end of the year left me heartbroken and exhausted and with a sense that the future was bleak.
So, when I drove to the office last weekend to check our mail and review year-end gifts, I wasn’t looking for hope. I wasn’t looking for inspiration, yet that’s exactly what I found.
As I opened the envelopes one by one, the names of Arts Corps donors started thawing the cold, constricted edges of my heart. Many of the individuals who sent checks have given loyally for years. I recognized their names. Pictured their faces. I felt a profound sense of gratitude. In these difficult times, so many people had dedicated time and energy to mailing a check or giving online. There was $21,100 in year-end gifts in that pile of mail alone.
As I continued reviewing our year-end gifts, I was also struck by the fact that many of the individuals who contributed to the campaign had already given throughout the year. And I don’t just mean financially. One donor chose to give a financial gift after already dedicating hours and hours of her time assembling free art kits for students and families as a part of our COVID-19 Art Kit program. Such generosity of spirit!
We also had many new donors, giving gifts of all sizes. Gifts were in the range of $10 to $50,000. What wonderful diversity of community coming together in support of youth creativity and educational equity!
As I begin 2022, I’m so grateful to the Arts Corps community, and especially our donors. You lifted my spirits and reminded me of the hope that lies in generosity and the sacredness of giving and receiving. With your gifts, you’ve brought us closer to our vision of a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.
— CHRISTA MAZZONE PALMBERG, Development Manager