The Kirkpatrick Family Fund Pledges $1 Million to Aid Local Cultural Nonprofits
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., June 22, 2021 – In response to a survey demonstrating a $33.1 million negative impact on central Oklahoma arts organizations due to COVID-19, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund has announced a $1 million commitment to Allied Arts over a three-year period to assist in nonprofit arts recovery and forward momentum.
“As we emerge out of a pandemic year, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund is committed to helping restore the educational, visual, and performing arts that are vital to a thriving society and economy,” said Christian Keesee, President, Kirkpatrick Family Fund. “Oklahoma arts organizations have endured an astounding blow: millions of dollars in lost revenue and hundreds of jobs eliminated, setting our once thriving organizations back to statistics they haven’t seen in over a decade in some cases. Our hope for this gift is that Oklahomans are encouraged to also consider increasing their support to help propel the trajectory of arts and culture in Oklahoma for future generations to enjoy.”
Allied Arts surveyed 39 arts nonprofits to gauge the health of area arts and cultural organizations during the pandemic, assessing data from March 2020-February 2021. The survey showed not only tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, but that the impact transcended the financial loss. Survey participants reported that they were forced to unemploy 521 Oklahomans who served as administrative, education and artistic staff as well as the loss of more than 1.8 million audience members.
“The toll on our arts organizations related to the pandemic was staggering and continues to be a challenge,” said Allied Arts President and CEO Deborah McAuliffe Senner. “We are fortunate to have a very collaborative and supportive community that responds when a need is identified. Our friends at the Kirkpatrick Family Fund have a strong legacy of philanthropic leadership and vision, particularly in support of our local cultural community. Their $1 million contribution will be critical in assisting organizations in replacing lost revenue and ensuring they have tools and resources needed to operate in a post-pandemic environment.”
“Allied Arts expects recovery to take three to five years, “said Elizabeth Eickman, Director, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, “We want to encourage businesses and individuals to join us in our support of the Allied Arts annual campaign and arts organizations in central Oklahoma as they work to bring their vital programs and services back to pre-pandemic levels.”
“At the onset of the pandemic, emergency funds helped organizations survive for the short-term, but more support is vital to long-term and sustainable recovery,” Senner said. “By joining together to help arts organizations restart, we can help strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, ensuring our community continues to enjoy a strong and dynamic arts landscape for years to come.”
Companies and individuals interested in donating to the Allied Arts campaign can give online at alliedartsokc.com or by calling 405-278-8944. For more information, contact Natalie Fix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Kirkpatrick Family Fund
The Kirkpatrick Family Fund was founded by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick in 1989 and is the largest affiliated fund in the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The organization remains committed to adhering to the priorities and guiding principles of its founders through the leadership of Trustee and President, Christian Keesee, the grandson of John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick.
About Allied Arts
As a United Arts Fund, Allied Arts works to broaden support for the arts by raising financial support for cultural organizations, encouraging participation and attendance, advocating for arts education, and promoting excellence in the arts and arts management. Since its founding in 1971, the organization has raised more than $79 million to advance the arts in central Oklahoma. Allied Arts counts more than 40 nonprofit cultural organizations under its umbrella. Learn more at www.alliedartsokc.com.