Community Foundation Challenge - Arts & Culture Surpasses Expectations

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Detroit - The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan released a preliminary report today on the amount of operating funds generated for the 75 arts and cultural organizations participating in the "Community Foundation Challenge—Arts and Culture."

Recognizing the important role that arts and cultural institutions play in enhancing the quality of life throughout the region, and in light of the current economic climate, the Community Foundation partnered with the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan to launch the Community Foundation Challenge—Arts and Culture.

The preliminary report indicated that the Challenge has secured a total of nearly $4.8 million, surpassing the original goal of $3 million thanks to the strong outpouring of support from donors and the hard work of the 75 participating organizations. The Community Foundation increased its initial commitment of $1 million to match donor gifts by ultimately providing nearly $ 1.6 million in matching funds.

“The Community Foundation Challenge—Arts and Culture accomplished our goal of providing sorely needed support to arts and cultural organizations in southeastern Michigan,” said Community Foundation president, Mariam Noland. “We applaud the thousands of donors who contributed, and apologize to those who experienced delays or were unable to make gifts.”

Technical challenges with the online giving site caused delays and other problems for some donors. Although the Community Foundation took immediate measures to communicate with participating organizations and registered donors about problems, many of those who wished to participate experienced frustration.

“As a nonprofit organization, GuideStar is honored to have been part of this innovative approach to encouraging charitable giving. We were impressed by the extraordinary generosity of the people of southeast Michigan and the enthusiastic participation of the arts community,“ said GuideStar president Bob Ottenhoff, “We apologize for any inconvenience the technical processing of gifts may have caused donors as they overwhelmingly supported this initiative. We are reviewing our technology and processes to learn how we could have responded better.”

Despite these technical delays and issues with the online giving site, nearly $4.8 million was secured in less than 12 hours. This tremendous outpouring of gifts demonstrates the high value that individuals place on arts and cultural activities throughout the region.

“This groundbreaking effort not only provides much needed funds for the participating members of the Cultural Alliance, but also helped organizations effectively use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate with existing supporters, and reach new audiences,” said Maud Lyon, president, Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan.

“It is important to us that all donors have a good experience and for them to know that their efforts have greatly benefited arts and culture in southeast Michigan,” said Noland, “While we regret any problems in this program, we are extremely pleased that we have been able to assist in generating operating funds for each of the 75 participating organizations.”

Participating Organizations Preliminary Totals
All the World's A Stage $10,208
Arab American National Museum 289,293
The Art Center 15,788
Arts and Scraps 8,076
The Arts Alliance 17,055
The Arts League of Michigan 16,638
ArtServe Michigan 40,620
Automotive Hall of Fame 9,900
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center 6,090
Birmingham Music Society of Detroit 5,475
Chamber Music Society of Detroit 56,902
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 80,873
College for Creative Studies 108,413
Communities in Schools of Detroit 34,200
The Community House 84,212
Cranbrook Educational Community, including:
  • Cranbrook Art Museum
  • Cranbrook Institute of Science
  • Cranbrook House and Gardents
  • Cranbrook Summer Theatre School
Detroit Artists Market 59,438
Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings 42,324
Detroit Historical Society 92,663
Detroit Institute of Arts 585,749
Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation, Inc. 8,138
Detroit Public Television 92,066
Detriot Repertory Theatre 15,921
Detroit Science Center 34,170
Detroit Symphony Orchestra 596,054
Detroit Zoo 179,138
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House 55,575
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble 49,215
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival 42,690
The Heidelberg Project 6,259
The Henry Ford 241,095
Heritage Works 533
Howell Conference and Nature Center 11,820
InsideOut Literary Arts Project 24,905
Leslie Science and Nature Center 41,132
Macomb County College Foundation, Including
  • Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lorenzo Cultural Center
Matrix Theatre Company 2,813
Meadow Brook Hall 37,290
Meadow Brook Theatre 112,629
Michigan Opera Theatre 318,984
Michigan State University Community Music School-Detroit 14,618
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit 81,315
Motown Historical Museum 450
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) 106,245
Music Hall Center for Performing Arts 112,763
Northville Art House 1,013
Paint Creek Center for the Arts 2,445
Performance Network Theatre 47,513
Pewabic Pottery 61,005
Plowshares Theatre Company 4,721
Plymouth Historical Society 46,974
Preservation Wayne 2,558
PuppetART/Detroit Puppet Theatre 6,525
Purple Rose Theatre Company 38,580
Rackham Symphony Choir 25,875
Sphinx Organization 105,353
Stagecrafters 14,255
Troy Museum and Historic Village 5,025
University Musical Society 167,250
University of Michigan, including:
  • Exhibit Museum of Natural History
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Henry Ford Estate-Fairane
Variety FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts 29,393
Village Theater at Cherry HIll 59,882
VSA Arts of Michigan 3,450
Wayne State University, including:
  • Wayne State University Art Galleries
  • College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts
  • Hilberry Theatre>
  • Wayne State University Press
Woodward Avenue Action Association 29,886
Y-Arts/YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit 9,300

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. The Foundation works to improve the region’s quality of life by connecting those who care with causes that matter. The Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $380 million through more than 33,500 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit

The Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan is a professional association of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with 89 member organizations that span every artistic discipline and serves communities across the seven counties of southeast Michigan. The Cultural Alliance facilitates collaborations and initiatives that enhance the ability of arts and cultural organizations to achieve their missions and to be sustainable community assets. It also serves as the collective voice of and advocate for arts and cultural organizations, to ensure that they are recognized, fully utilized, and supported by the general public, political and community leaders. For more information, please visit

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