Friday, September 9, 2011

Website gives art groups something to sing about

The songbirds at Wing Haven will be as well-fed as any opera diva. The 200-year-old house at Historic Rosedale will be a little safer, thanks to lightning protection hooked up to the green ash tree next to it. The Light Factory will be able to bring its film series back home to the Knight Gallery.

Those are a few of the latest arts projects that have been paid for during the first week and a half of, a fundraising site devised by the Arts & Science Council. It lets cultural groups post projects that need funding, and it's set up so visitors to the site can make donations on the spot.

Since it went into action Aug. 29, the site has attracted more than $65,000 in donations, the ASC says. Fifteen projects out of more than 50 that the site began with have been completely funded.

As of Friday afternoon, 258 donors have made 325 donations, the ASC says. Forty-four people have given to multiple projects.

So far, the big winner has been N.C. Dance Theatre, which had two projects fully funded on power2give's first day. NCDT is getting $10,000 for a revival of Mark Diamond's "Bolero" and $1,038 to buy uniforms for children taken dance classes through NCDT Reach, a program for kids whose families need help paying for lessons.

Even before NCDT hit the mini-jackpot, executive director Doug Singleton was a backer of power2give, he says. He liked the idea as soon as the ASC first described it to arts leaders.

"It doesn't exist" until now, Singleton says. "That's why it's brilliant."

The two projects nearest their funding targets now: WTVI's request for backing for "City of Canvas," a documentary about Camp Greene, a World War I training camp in Charlotte; and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's request for backing for an art project for homeless people at Hope Haven. As of Friday afternoon, WTVI is $442 from the $4,592 it needs. The Bechtler is $316 from its goal of $2,000.