Local non-profit organizations struggle after fundraisers were canceled

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:45 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Many non-profit organizations, especially in the arts industry, have felt the effects of COVID-19. Most of their fundraisers have either had to be postponed or canceled fully.

Local organizations like the Alexandria Museum of Art and the River Oaks Art Center have faced financial hardships this year because a large part of their revenue comes from fundraisers.

Catherine Pears, the Director of the Alexandria Museum of Art, said, “We’re suffering along with the rest of non-profits, in particular, arts and culture.”

Art museums and galleries are normally full of life with people coming in to look at the art along with participating in the fundraisers. Pears says with all the fundraisers they had to cancel this year, they are not only missing their customers, but the museum is missing out on revenue as well.

“We get our bigger numbers in visitations through our events and certainly our income as well. We’ve had four different fundraisers that we haven’t been able to have,” said Pears.

The Dragon Boat Race is the largest fundraiser for the art museum. Fundraisers make up 20% of the art museum’s budget and the Dragon Boat Race alone can bring up to $50,000. This event has now been pushed back twice this year, and they are hoping they can put it on next May.

Pears said, “Ultimately we just want to have a great day of fun at some point. Folks have enjoyed that event so much and it’s been a wonderful fundraiser for this museum.”

The River Oaks Art Center has also been affected as their biggest fundraisers, Men Who Cook and the Van Gogh Gala, have been canceled. Aubrey Bolen, the Artistic Director at River Oaks, said the pandemic has taken its toll on the artists who utilize the art center to sell their work.

“We have several residential artists that rely on sales and this venue helps produce their work. We have to be mindful of not only the community artists but the residential ones as well at the art center,” said Bolen.

Bolen is an artist as well and said COVID-19 has forced all artists to become more creative and adapt to the digital age. However, for those artists that rely on teaching courses and attending workshops to make income, this year been a struggle for them.

The Alexandria Museum of Art is scheduled to host a Christmas concert in their parking lot on Dec. 10. Tickets for that event will go on sale soon.

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