Joel Pett’s June 13 cartoon, “Can’t judge a book (by its e-cover)” signals that art is a big part of life in Lexington.
So much so, he slyly suggests, that we sometimes take it for granted. The Book Benches Project, brought to our streets by ArtsConnect, the Carnegie Center and LexArts, is the latest of the many successful arts collaborations we enjoy in Lexington.
The willingness of Lexingtonians to fund the arts is the foundation that makes the others possible.
Since 1984, LexArts’ annual Fund for the Arts Campaign has pooled the gifts of individuals and businesses to ensure artists, arts organizations and audiences thrive for the enjoyment and benefit of all.
LexArts raises funds every spring and re-grants them to dozens of large and small organizations. A reliable funding stream means we enjoy a richer cultural environment than most cities our size.
The benefits expand beyond a lovely evening out or even an enriched education for our kids — more than 220,000 children experience a LexArts-supported program, and half at no cost — we prosper economically as well.
The arts and culture industry in Fayette County has a $32 million impact — $16 million of which is spent directly by arts groups and $16 million by the audiences enjoying the arts.
Nearly 1,200 full-time jobs are supported and $3.2 million flow into state and local tax bases. Businesses are able to recruit and retain top talent. Millennials stick around. Restaurants flourish. People share experiences and go from being a population to a community.
We are delighted to be honorary co-chairs for LexArts’ 2018 Fund for the Arts Campaign. We not only enjoy the arts ourselves but also see the benefits for our children, our grandchildren and our businesses. We want to see the arts strengthened and with them, the well-being of Lexington and Central Kentucky.
We reap theses benefits because our community has contributed generously for years. Please make your gift to LexArts by June 30 to ensure arts everywhere in Lexington for the year ahead and years to come. We will be better because of you.
Craig and Madonna Turner are honorary co-chairs of the 2018 Fund for the Arts.