By Todd Cohen
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem is preparing to launch the quiet phase of a campaign to raise $5 million for endowment, renovations and programs.
Half the total would create an endowment at the nonprofit center, which was founded in 1956 as the Winston-Salem Gallery of Fine Arts.
“We’re an institution that doesn’t have an endowment,” says Vicki Kopf, the center’s executive director, adding that it was “well past time” to start one.
The endowment, which would generate income from the investment of its assets, would help diversify the center’s sources of support.
With an annual budget of $1.2 million, the center relies on three groups for nearly half its funds – the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund, which provides 30 percent; Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, 12 percent; and N.C. Arts Council, 7 percent.
In the fiscal year that ends June 30, membership contributions will have generated $105,000, or 9 percent of the budget.
Based on a feasibility study by Winston-Salem consultant William Hinman, the center this spring is kicking off the quiet phase of its campaign, with the public phase to begin in October and run through next spring.
In addition to creating an endowment, funds from the drive would pay for renovations to the center, which consists of a 1929 English-style mansion that was the home of James G. Hanes, founder of Hanes Hosiery Corp., as well as a gallery added in the 1970s and a wing added in the 1990s.
Through mid-May, attendance in the fiscal year that ends June 30 already had grown 21 percent from last year’s total to 35,000, thanks to a two-year-old strategy of staging high-visibility events, such as the Gordon Parks photo exhibit last fall, Kopf says.