Why support the arts?

A thriving local arts and cultural life spurs economic development, attracts and retains a talented and creative workforce, aids in the educational development of our children, and enriches the quality of life in our community.

  • Economic Impact – The arts have a direct economic impact on our region.  In the Greater Harrisburg area the arts produce $54.4 million in economic activity each year.  They also directly support 1,890 jobs and generate $6.2 million in state and local government revenue.
  • Workforce Development – A thriving local arts scene makes our region a desirable place to live and work.  It makes our region attractive to new businesses.  It also aids in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.  The arts are also a key to the ‘new economy’ as they create an environment where fresh thinking and innovation are actively encouraged.
  • Educational Development – The arts are good for our children and their educational and social development.  Early exposure to the arts increases test scores, lowers dropout rates, improves academic skills essential for reading and language development, and advances students’ motivation to learn.
  • Quality of Life – The arts are integral to the fabric of our lives and community.  Arts and cultural organizations enrich society by providing creative outlets, inspiring ingenuity, and beautifying our communities.  The arts have the power to inspire people and change lives.
  • Funding Gap – Income from ticket sales and admission fees typically only cover one third of the total cost of operating an arts organization. The remainder is covered through the generosity of local businesses and patrons of the arts.  If the full cost of arts and cultural programming were to be charged, many people now enjoying the activities of these organizations would be unable to attend. Educational outreach and free-to-the-public programming is especially dependent on contributed support.

Why support the arts through CEF?

The Cultural Enrichment Fund (CEF) is the capital region’s united arts fund.  Its mission is to advance and sustain a vibrant and diverse arts and cultural life in the Capital Region.  This is achieved by:

  1. Leading the annual united arts fundraising campaign;
  2. Investing the funds raised in strong, accountable, arts organizations that directly serve the community;
  3. Promoting innovation and collaboration among arts and cultural organizations;
  4. And by working in and with the community to advocate for the arts.
  • Accountability – Donors to the Cultural Enrichment Fund can rest assured that their investment is wisely spent.  The Fund’s thirteen member organizations are monitored on an ongoing basis by the Fund’s Member Review Committee to ensure that they are fiscally sound, offering accessible arts programming to the community and pursuing a strategic vision.
  • Efficiency – The Cultural Enrichment Fund conducts its annual united campaign for the arts as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Each year the campaign is coordinated by a dedicated volunteer board of directors and over 60 campaign volunteers.  CEF employs only two paid staff members and it operates out of virtual office space to limit expenses.

Where is my support invested?

  • Core Arts Organizations – Campaign proceeds are primarily invested as general operating support allocations with twelve core arts organizations in the capital region.  These organizations provide creative experiences to over 240,000 residents of the capital region each year.
  • “Arts for All” partnership – Because we believe that artistic enrichment should be a part of everyday life for everyone, a portion of the campaign’s proceeds are also invested as program grants that fund programs designed to integrate cultural appreciation into the everyday lives of underserved audiences.  This funding stream, the ‘Arts for All’ Partnership, is a strategic cofunding initiative with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.  

How do I pledge my support?

The annual united campaign for the arts runs from April 1 to March 31 of each year.  Donors may make contributions via check, credit card, United Way designation or State Employee Combined Appeal (SECA) designation.  Donors may also make a pledge of support on which payments can be made through September 30 of the following year.  An automatic monthly credit card donation program is also available.

Pledges and credit card donations can be made online

Checks should be mailed to:

Cultural Enrichment Fund
PO Box 12084
Harrisburg, PA  17108

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