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Carnegie draws 15,000 visitors in first year; seeks more memberships, classes in 2013

Carnegie draws 15,000 visitors in first year; seeks more memberships, classes in 2013

Since its reopening in September 2011, the Carnegie Arts Center has housed internationally-renowned exhibits and offered a variety of community art classes.

POSTED January 22, 2013 10:28 p.m.



In its first 15 months of operation the Carnegie Arts Center brought in nearly $2 million in endowment pledges, hosted multiple exhibits that drew in more than 15,000 visitors, and ended the year with a revenue surplus, according to the Center’s first annual report.

Given to the City Council Tuesday night, the report highlights several of the Center’s accomplishments from their opening in September 2011 to December 2012, while laying out their goals for the upcoming year.

“It was a smashing success,” Carnegie Arts Center Director Rebecca Phillips Abbott said of the first 15 months. “We have seen so much accomplished with so many members of the Carnegie community working together.”

The Carnegie Arts Center generated more than $765,000 in revenue over the 15 months and had expenses of just more than $446,000. More than $389,000 in revenue was generated in fundraising efforts. Another $385,000 was raised through memberships, admissions, sponsorships, facility rentals, classes, gift shop sales, special events and other activities. One funding void was from grant revenue, which the Carnegie expects to fill this year.

The Carnegie also secured endowment pledges of almost $2 million.

The largest expense for the Carnegie was staffing costs at more than $121,000. The Center has two full-time and two part-time employees.

Just over $86,000 was spent in exhibits.

The Carnegie Arts Center now boasts a membership roll of 500 people and 125 volunteers, who donated 5,465 hours of their time.

“The volunteer guild has been a great success,” Abbott said. “Their hours exceed one full-time position.”

From the opening Ansel Adams exhibit to the Edgar Degas exhibit closing out the year, an estimated 15,000 people came to view artistic endeavors at the Carnegie. In addition to the exhibits, the Carnegie Arts Center launched a Sunday lecture series and family-friendly activities on Fridays. All total, the programs drew 3,323 participants for the year.

In the coming year the Carnegie Arts Center board and staff hope to build upon their successes by increasing memberships and class enrollments by 25 percent each and facility rental income by 15 percent. The Carnegie also hopes to fill out the exhibition schedule for the next three years and develop an operating and staffing plan covering three years.

“We will continue our efforts to offer first-rate exhibits and programs,” Abbott said.

The Carnegie was contractually required to submit the report to the City Council. The acceptance of the report could possibly set into motion the return of the Carnegie’s $100,000 deposit they put down at the onset of their operations.


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