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ARC State Program Manager Comments

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APPLICANT

Allegany Arts Council

Total Qualifying Score: 8
County (ARC Region): Yes
State (ARC Region): Yes
Q3. IRS Status: Nonprofit – 2
Q4. Parent Entity: No – 1
Q5. 2 or More Full-Time Employees : Yes (as of 12/31/2019)
Q7. Budget Level: $250,001 to $1.5 million – 5 (Last Fiscal Year Actual Income)
Q8. Restricted Reserves: Yes – 0
Q9. CARES Act Funding: Yes – 0
Q13. Participation by Executive: Yes


CONTACT & LOCATION INFORMATION

Allegany Arts Council
Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland 21502
301-777-2787
Email
www

County (ARC Region) Allegany
State (ARC Region) Maryland


ORGANIZATIONAL & FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Q1. Mission:

The Allegany Arts Council cultivates the arts to enrich the quality of life in Allegany County.

Q2. How organization aligns with ARC’s Plan & Goals:

The Allegany Arts Council has five strategic objectives, one of which is to contribute to economic development through the arts. We routinely speak publicly and inform/educate our community about the powerful role arts and culture can play in economic revitalization – in fact, for every dollar spent in our community on arts and culture, an additional four is generated, impacting community businesses of all types, sizes and sectors. Through our work to educate our local government leaders and our community, we feel passionately the arts can play a major role in economic development in our community.

In addition to our work as a non-profit organization, we also manage the City of Cumberland’s Arts & Entertainment District, the purpose of which is to promote tourism, increase community engagement, and identify opportunities for investment in a portion of the City. Through this work, we are leading efforts to create a single depository for potential commercial investments, a clearinghouse to showcase tax incentives and programs for reinvestment, and to increase business opportunities for artists.

As the designated umbrella organization for the arts in Allegany County, we routinely participate and engage in opportunities to help shape future leaders and to serve as a model for other organizations to follow. Each year, we engage with our Leadership Allegany program both as a topic panelist, but also as an alumni and supporter of the initiative. We routinely offer technical assistance to artists and arts organizations who may not understand how to apply for granting and we financially support more than 15 arts organizations annually through our direct grant funding. We believe “elevating without alienating” our community is the key to making the entire community more prosperous, which can only be achieved by empowering a wide variety of leaders across sectors, participating in and encouraging collaboration, and innovating in our work.

Q3. IRS Filing Status: 501(c)(3)   

Q4. Unit or Chapter of Larger Organization: No

Q5. Employees:

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 2/3 (as of 9/1/2020)

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 2/3 (as of 12/31/2019)

Current Year Income/Expenses: $324035.00/$324035.00

Q6. Fiscal Year: July-June

Q7. Budget Level

Last Fiscal Year Income/Expenses (Actual): $311279.47 / $304387.53

Current Year Income/Expenses (Projected): $324035.00 / $324035.00

Balance Sheet

Q8. Restricted Reserves (Amount): Yes ($306486.26)

Q9. CARES Act Funding (Amount): Yes ($25600.00)
Received From: First United Bank & Trust   Date Received: 4/24/20
For What Purpose(s): Funding received was from the SBA Payroll Protection Program, which helped cover the cost of payroll and some additional expenses to avoid layoffs.

Q10. Negative Impacts from COVID-19:

COVID-19 has changed entirely the way we do business. As a full-time gallery, we have not had a live, in -person public gathering since March 2020, which has impacted the openings and sales potential for eight scheduled exhibitions. Since more than 90% of our gallery sales are earned during opening events, our sales have plummeted from nearly $10,000 at this time in our previous fiscal year, to less than $2000 this year, with projected losses scheduled to continue for months to come.

In addition, our typically programming has changed completely with no in-person programs taking place from mid-March-early September, when very small meetings began taking place. That has reduced our programming revenue to nearly nothing, but has also increased our technological costs as we have resorted to the development of web-based and livestreaming programs to keep our members engaged. We anticipate more costs to either purchase the necessary equipment for continued programming of this type, the procurement of professional services for this purpose, and/or the additional cost of training staff to perform these functions.

Lastly, COVID-19 has significantly impacted our membership revenue, which is significant for two reasons (1) it has reduced thus far in 2020 our revenue by more than $3000 with no alternative revenue to support the loss; and (2) in order to receive the state funding we depend upon, we must have a 1:1 cash match for that funding meaning, if this trend continues, not only are we losing membership revenue but we are also potentially in danger of losing our primary source of funding.

Q11. Top Three Concerns:
For many years, the organization has relied upon the membership-based model as a means to avoid traditional fundraising and because there was an erroneous feeling that membership played a more significant role in our operating budget. The loss of this revenue may potentially change our entire structure moving forward.
Fundraising – like most non-profit organizations, we struggle with our Board’s understanding of the role and need for fundraising. We are interested in developing a long-term fundraising mechanism that is not based upon $25 annual memberships as that model is simply unsustainable.
Engagement – Arts and culture are seen as luxury items and the first things to go when the economy struggles, but in some ways, arts and culture is one of the bright lights in our community and without a robust effort to retain it, could be the death knell in our downtown community.

How Participation in Program Will Address Concerns:

If selected, I will choose the long-term fundraising option for my participation, not because I find it the most interesting, but because I believe we have to develop our skills in seeking and securing legacy gifts, potential endowments, and have a better understanding and approach to advancement than we do.

This training would benefit me as the Director which would then allow me to support my Board in creating attainable goals for fundraising, and change the perception that other revenues pave the way. This thinking has been shown to be both imprudent and not practical in the wake of COVID-19.

 


COHORT INSTRUCTION

Q12. Applying as a Proposed Cohort? Yes

List of Organizations in Proposed Cohort:
The Greater Cumberland Committee

Q13. Executive Director or CEO Will Participate in the Program? Yes

Q14. Top Two Choices for Cohort Instruction:

Course #1 Choice: 1-Fundraising

Course #2 Choice: 2-Mission & Operations

Q15. Desired Course Schedule for Cohort Instruction:

#1 Desired Course Schedule: 1-Winter 2021: 10-Week Course (Jan. 25. 2021 – Apr. 4, 2021)

#2 Desired Course Schedule: 2-Fall 2020: 11-Week Course (Nov. 9, 2020 -Jan. 24, 2021)


APPLICATION SUBMITED BY:

Name: Julie Westendorff, Executive Director

Application Approved by Organization Director or CEO? Yes, Approved by Executive Director/CEO

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