The Wyoming Fine Arts Center (WFAC), a longstanding part of the Wyoming community that serves budding artists in Hamilton County and beyond, is seeking financial support to continue its mission of education, creating experiences, and nurturing appreciation for music and other creative and performing arts across all ages, races, abilities, and backgrounds.

While the WFAC had operated almost entirely on program fees (almost unheard of among nonprofit organizations) for much of its lifetime, a development plan that involved fund development elements other than program fees (including grants, patron donations, etc.) was designed in 2018, but was derailed by the pandemic. WFAC leadership was forced to move from fund development to survival efforts.

Pandemic Was Difficult

Executive Director Ramona Toussaint said, “Prior to the pandemic, we served over 1,000 individuals a week from 208 zip codes, but this did not necessarily translate into financial giving for the organization. Now that enrollment is lower, we depend on community support more than ever. Unfortunately, donors take time to cultivate and we need help now. We need time to build a runway to establish long-term stability.”

While the WFAC is fortunate in that they have no debt and their building is paid for, there are many operational expenses that need to be met.

As a non-profit organization that was solely dependent on fees, WFAC management saw that a new approach was necessary, but a fund development program necessitated organizational changes that added to their expenses.

Some WFAC support comes from an ArtsWave Sustaining Impact Grant, and other grants are being sought. However, grantors have pushed the WFAC to take a closer look at revenue streams, ways to grow their donor base, and to take a more humanitarian approach to where their dollars are being spent.

Their 2023 development plan included a substantial source of funds that did not come to fruition, leaving an unanticipated hole in the budget and limited time to find alternatives. An end-of-the-year fundraising campaign is underway. They need to raise $60,000 by the end of the year in order to keep their doors open through January, when the organization can start executing upon new development plans.

Closure of the WFAC would also affect the five resident organizations that call the center home.

Flying Cloud Dance Academy is a partner organization of the Wyoming Fine Arts Center

New Development Plans

In addition to the changes noted above, the 2024 development plan also includes putting a more balanced revenue plan into place, collecting receivables, and having the organizational structure in place to support the goals of the organization.

Paul Bartel’s Legacy

The Wyoming Fine Arts Center was founded in 1995 by local businessman Paul Bartel. Bartel came from modest means, but found his life enriched by the arts. A 1972 graduate of Miami University and former music teacher, Paul established his Baroque Violin Shop with the vision of supporting school music programs by providing high-quality instruments at low cost. His vision, support, and dedication have given children and adults countless opportunities to enhance their appreciation of and participation in the creative arts over the years.

Wyoming Fine Arts Center

“The Wyoming Fine Arts Center is a well-established, invaluable component of the community,” said WFAC Board President Brad King. “Please help us keep Paul’s dream of a rich and vibrant arts culture in Wyoming alive.”