AAT Sets Campaign Goal

FUNDRAISING BEGINS: From left, CEO of Tulsa Community Foundation Phil Lakin, local artist Josh Butts and Arts Alliance Tulsa (AAT) Executive Director Todd Cunningham stand in front of a new mural on the south wall of Hey Mambo, 114 N. Boston Ave., in the Brady Arts District. Butts will add to the mural as the campaign’s funding goals are met during the four-month campaign. AAT hopes to raise $2 million by the end of May.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

On Feb. 1, Arts Alliance Tulsa () announced the start of its first fundraising campaign, with the goal to raise $2 million by the end of May.

In connection with the campaign is a new mural, located on the exterior south wall of Hey Mambo, 114 N. Boston Ave., in the Brady Arts District. The mural will serve as the campaign’s barometer; local artist Josh Butts will add to the mural as campaign funding goals are met.

The need for the Alliance has been discussed for at least two decades, says Phil Lakin, of Tulsa Community Foundation, but the subject came to a point of action in the spring of 2014 when the City of Tulsa’s budget did not provide for typical funding for some previously funded arts programs. Although the city restored funding for that year, Lakin and Councilor G.T. Bynum promised arts entities that a solution would be found. Lakin took a proposal to Tulsa Community Foundation’s () board in November 2014, and agreed to incubate, organize, and oversee finances and activities for . began in October 2015.

“AAT will be of great value to so many people like me,” says Lakin. “I don’t know all the needs of our quality arts and cultural groups, but I know I want to support them and make opportunities available to our kids and adults, not only for observing but also for performing.”

Arts Alliance Tulsa joins a national network of similarly organized arts alliances that function to receive funds from individuals, corporations and charitable foundations.

After considerable independent review, funds will be distributed to Tulsa’s 39 2015-16 local arts institutions. AAT’s Board seeks to raise money to provide ongoing support to arts groups by consolidating cultural fundraising efforts into a single organization and use its deep and diverse knowledge of the cultural community to disperse the funds broadly and strategically.

Updated 03-01-2016

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