Non-Profit Organisation Awards 2022

Acquisition International - Non-Profit Organisation Awards 2022 21 May22475 Most Empowering Rural Arts & Entertainment Organization - Midwest USA n 2018, Belleville, Kansas, had the unfortunate distinction of being named the most impoverished town in Kansas (source: Blair Center for the Arts serves people with a median income lower than 31% of Kansas, with 12% below poverty. Its median age is 50, which is 35% higher than average in Kansas. Because this is the organisation’s clientele, it works to provide lots of children’s programming at low or no cost. Alongside this, the Blair has pop-up event equipment that allows it to bring entertainment to different locations in the community. However, the pop-up events are currently on hold as a new projector is needed. It is now trying to raise $37,000 for this project. Indeed, like any non-profit, the Blair needs funds for upkeep, upgrading facilities, and running programming. Managing Director Amy McGuire tells us of its unfortunate funding struggles, “Covid dropped the organisation’s revenue by over 70%, and we have still not rebounded. We are currently repaying the loans we took out to remain open, and we continue to write grants to upgrade equipment I The Blair Center for the Arts (BCA, the Blair) is a 501c3 non-profit arts organisation in Republic County, Kansas, aiming to provide quality arts and entertainment opportunities to the area to counter the artistic and cultural void in rural locations. At its core, the organisation works to improve the community’s mental health and quality of life by programming arts and entertainment and to maintain a venue that can host school, business, and community event needs. and fund programmes. But the most significant way we can continue our work is if each person reading is moved by our plight and cares enough to take a few minutes to sign up for our three easy and free giving programmes. They are set and forget fundraising opportunities that are easy to do!” Being based in a historical building, the Blair is also facing the financial challenge of trying to restore it to its original Andalusian Garden glory. Amy explains, “We want to combine the old look with modern technological amenities to create a space accessible to the community and a vibrant season of live entertainment complete with concerts, musicals, plays, touring acts from all over, and local school production needs.” The total cost for restoring and renovating the main facility and expanding into the adjoining building it owns is $5 million. This project is the Blair’s current and ongoing capital campaign. While that is an enormous upfront cost, the economic engine it will provide to the area will exponentially increase. Nationally, over $31 above ticket cost is spent per person per event in the surrounding areas regarding food, lodging, gas, and shopping. The Blair holds around 350 people, putting an extra $10,850 into the community per show and $86,000 back into the community per week! In one year, that’s over $4.5 million back into the community and almost a complete return on the $5 million capital campaign investment. Also, if the Blair were fully operational, it would create approximately ten full-time and 70 part-time jobs. Amy comments, “While we can have a broad overview of the economic impact on the area if we were running at 100% capacity, we firmly believe we can be even more empowering to this rural region. We work hard to provide quality and fun entertainment opportunities. We hope to find a partner that believes in our vision and wants to work with us to help improve the quality of life in the community through our programming.” Company: Blair Center for the Arts Contact: Amy McGuire, Managing Director Email: [email protected] Website: