ARTS PROUD Campaign
The Arts Community is constantly finding new ways to support the arts and artists with new foundations, grants, and more! Our Fund Foundation announced the launch of Arts Proud, a newly created campaign to support its various arts and cultural grantees that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mission for the Arts Proud campaign is to sustain the arts within South Florida’s LGBTQ community and create a springboard for the non-profit agencies to restART and flourish post-pandemic.
Earlier this summer, Our Fund formed a coalition of LGBTQ cultural institutions such as the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida, Island City Stage, Miami Gay Men's Chorus, OUTshine Film Festival, South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, Thinking Cap Theatre, Thou Art Woman, and the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus which has essentially served as a South Florida LGBTQ arts collective and support group.
The agencies meet virtually on a regular basis to combine efforts, share and pool resources, and recently began to explore opportunities to reduce costs by leveraging scale and realizing joint savings as a means to preserve financial resources.
“The Arts Proud campaign name succinctly encapsulates what we are trying to accomplish – safeguarding the diverse LGBTQ arts and cultural institutions which over the decades have shaped South Florida into one of the most vibrant and eclectic arts and cultural centers in the country,” said David Jobin, Our Fund Foundation President & CEO. “In order for this to happen we need the LGBTQ community to continue to support these struggling arts and cultural organizations so they can continue provide safe spaces for enjoyment, connection, and reflection.”
For decades, South Florida’s performing arts scene has provided first-class entertainment and a powerful sense of belonging for diverse and multicultural audiences. Whether attending a live musical event, a play, concert, film, dance revue, or other type of performance, the communal element offers the LGBTQ community a place to socialize, celebrate, and learn.
“Over the past months, we've seen how powerful and versatile the arts can be. People around the world have used visual arts like photography, painting and film as well as spoken word and music to bring attention to important social justice causes or celebrate and thank our essential workers,” said G Wright Muir, founder and executive director of Thou Art Women. “Art is a universal language, a means to reach out and connect within one another and express our humanity."
“Until we are able to once again perform on stage in front of a live audience, we need to remind people and help them understand why the arts are so vital to the LGBTQ community in particular and how intricately connected art is to preserving our identity and sharing our relevant and powerful stories,” said Marty Childers, managing director of Island City Stage.
“There’s been extensive research that proves the arts build community, bridge cultural divides, and fuel economic growth. This is needed now, more than ever,” said Anthony Cabrera, artistic director of the Miami Gay Men's Chorus. “Our choral performers cannot wait for the day until we can join voices as one. Until then, we remain committed to our craft and to our loyal supporters. We’ve formed a united front and want to assure our patrons that we will be back and ready to restART when it’s safe to do so.”
How to Support the Arts
Our Fund urges South Floridians to continue engaging with the arts and cultural organizations they patronized in the past and find out how to help. Unable to survive on proceeds from virtual performances and grants alone, without ticket sales and season sponsorships, many are struggling to find resources just to keep basic operations functioning. Financial contributions of any size make a difference. Fans and patrons are encouraged to continue following arts groups on social media, share memories of previous engagements with friends, offer to volunteer, recruit new fans, or host a virtual fundraiser. To donate or request more information, please call 954-565-1090 or visit our-fund.org/lgbtqarts to donate to Our Fund’s Arts & Culture Fund.