Centre Gives: Thanks for Your Help!

I say over and over again that the hardest part of managing the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts isn’t choosing the artists in the Sidewalk Sale, or the fifty-odd musical acts we book, or even finding the kazillion volunteers who donate their time and energy over five days in July to make the event a success. The most difficult part of my job is getting the Festival to pay for itself. It’s pretty darned close to a free party! You can see a list of many of the things we buy here.

That’s not to say that we don’t have great partners and sponsors. It would be hard to have better hosts than the Borough of State College and Penn State. Since the Borough’s incorporation in 1896 (Penn State got here first, in 1855) Penn State and the Borough have worked together (sometimes better than others, to be sure) to make sure that downtown State College and Penn State’s University Park campus are places people want to visit. Both the Borough and Penn State consider the visitor experience when it comes to parking, sidewalks, street furniture, signs, and so on—things that have real meaning to locals and visitors.

I can’t say enough good stuff about our sponsors. From folks on nationwide tours who come once or twice (e.g. Starbucks, Kashi Cereals, U.S. Navy) to local businesses and individuals, they are all invested in the success of the Festival. They pay to get their name in front of our audience, and we’re happy to work with sponsors to develop a sponsorship package that’s appropriate to each business.

And this brings me to Centre Gives, the online giving event produced by the Centre Foundation, our local community foundation. Centre Gives is very helpful to the Arts Festival. This year, through the generosity of 157 donors, the Festival raised $27,948.00 in 36 hours, up from $18,620 last year. We also won two special prizes of $1,000 each from the Centre Foundation, and we had the 7th most donors of the 111 participating Centre County charitable organizations and won another $800 for that.

We will be receiving a matching contribution from a Centre Foundation’s $100,000 matching pool based on the percentage of money we raised against the community’s overall total of $765,916.

While we have participated in Centre Gives since its inception four years ago, this was the Festival’s best showing yet. I’d like to thank my co-workers, Director of Operations Carol Baney, Director of Development, Jennifer Shuey, and our great board, led by President Joyce H. Robison. Special thanks go to our Director of Digital Engagement and all around online guru, Courtney Hunt of the Denovati Group for her help as well. Our Centre Gives campaign was a team effort, and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s efforts.

If you missed your opportunity to invest in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and First Night State College during Centre Gives, don’t worry. You may contribute directly to these premier downtown State College institutions any time of the by visiting our Donate Page.

Thank you for your generous support. We couldn’t produce these great events without you!

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