In January, the ArtsCenter’s Board of Directors faced a $265,000 deficit. In February, executive director Ed Camp’s position was eliminated to save money and remain sustainable.
After changing its organizational structure, the ArtsCenter began to quickly regain its footing with growing community support. By September, the center had raised $141,000 by donations.
“If we can win the grant, then we will be able to pay a reasonable performance fee and take a chance on younger artists,” Tomkovik said.
The proposed concert series is entirely dependent on grant money. If the ArtsCenter does not win funding, the idea will be stalled.
“We don’t have the money if we don’t get the votes,” said Margrethe Williams, a sophomore intern in the development department at the ArtsCenter. “Everyone is integral to creating this concert series.”
Ultimately, whether the project succeeds could depend on UNC’s student body.
“UNC has a large pool of students that could help out with the votes,” Williams said. “And I think they should get involved. It offers them a way to help the community and some great concerts to go see.”
For the last few days, Ebony Kennedy, vice president of service for the national honorary band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi at UNC, has been doing her part to court the support of her peers.
“I’ve been doing everything. I’ve sent out emails. I’ve been posting on Facebook. I’ve been sitting out in the Pit,” Kennedy said.
“I’ve even been posting in the board for my pharmacy class.”
Kennedy was quick to get involved because she said she knows firsthand the value of such projects benefiting local high schoolers.
“I was part of a similar project in Charlotte,” she said. “Because of their help, I got better at my instrument and learned a lot of things. So we are kind of helping them pay it forward.”
This is the sixth of seven grant cycles for the 2011 Pepsi Refresh Project. The ArtsCenter entered in the $50,000 category in May, but did not win, Williams said. It restructured its proposal and entered again in September, but had to postpone its campaign until this month’s cycle.
Only the top 15 proposals in each grant category receive funding by Pepsi. Since voting began on Nov. 1, the ArtsCenter’s proposal has been oscillating around the mid-40s.
Kennedy said she is optimistic about the proposal’s chances.
“It is definitely possible,” she said. “I’m not sure how possible, but I feel like we can do it.”
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