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Arts Center HHI

Arts Now Campaign

A Case for the Arts

Birdies for Charity

The award-winning Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, produces Equity theater and presents dance, jazz and contemporary music performances, and humorists, as well as exhibits the visual arts each year. The Arts Center also provides free community festivals and arts education opportunities including field trips which give many students their first live professional performing arts experience.

Unlike most arts organizations, whose facilities are owned by a public institution, university or municipality, the Arts Center owns its own building. Consequently, the Arts Center has experienced unique financial challenges over the past several years. It continues to face rising costs for maintenance and essential upgrades to its aging 20-year-old facility (45,000-square-foot building and 4.6-acre property) and theater equipment.

In an effort to secure our future as a first-rate professional institution, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has launched the Arts Now! Capital Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising plan, which will address immediate and long-term financial needs. It has been enacted to ensure that the Arts Center remains a vital part of our community for many years to come. The Arts Center is conducting a major gifts capital campaign with a goal of securing cash, pledges and estate bequests (planned gifts) for: Debt reduction – primary goal to eliminate debt incurred over time in addressing building and facility needs is $2.5M. Facility restoration and eventual equipment replacement – goal to provide necessary capital improvements is $2.5M. An ongoing and long-term goal is to grow a robust Endowment of $5M. A new planned giving program that facilitates and documents gifts from patron estate bequests has been rolled-out to assist in building the Endowment. Increasing contributions to the Arts Center’s Annual Fund for operating support to $700,000.

How You Can Help

Public Phase 1 of the Arts Now! Capital Campaign Your investment in the Arts Center is an investment in our community, and it is time to refurbish a prized community asset while ensuring the quality of the Arts Center’s future programming. The Arts Center seeks your support for our Public Phase 1 initiative to secure $1M in cash, pledges and planned gifts this year. Your gift will have a transformational impact on our Arts Now! Campaign and set a leadership example in our area.

The Arts Center is deeply grateful for your ongoing commitment. We respectfully request your consideration of a special gift to Arts Now! Capital Campaign, which may be paid over a two to three year period. Further, we also provide both Memorial and Tribute Gift opportunities, and would be delighted to personally work with you to commemorate or honor a loved one in a way that will best recognize the significance of your extraordinary commitment.

We welcome your support that will help ensure that the Arts Center is able to continue offering high quality performance, education and outreach programming. Please review the pledge information on the enclosed return envelope and make your commitment to our Arts Now! Capital Campaign today. If you have questions or require further information, please call (843) 686-3945, ext. 303.


What is the Arts Center’s impact on the local economy?

The Arts Center hosted over 54,000 participants during the 2016 season alone, second only to the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament. The Arts Center employs locals, patronizes local vendors and promotes local businesses. We also create 718 employment opportunities for arts professionals. Area patrons and performers frequent area restaurants before or after performances and the Arts Center pays accommodations taxes on performer lodgings. The economic impact of Arts Center operations with local attendance was $8,918,658 during the 2015/16 season alone.

Of the 54,418 individuals who attended Arts Center programs in the 2015/16 season, almost 10,000 were visitors from beyond a 50 mile radius. Using the Hilton Head Island VCB conversion factors, the Arts Center’s visitor economic impact in this 12-month period was $13,568,272 bringing the total organizational economic impact to $22,486,930.

How much is annual building maintenance?

Expenses for regular facility operations, maintenance and repairs are approximately $425,000 annually. This includes utilities, grounds maintenance and basic facility upkeep; this does not include replacement of equipment. The Arts Center relies on ticket sales and contributions to meet building maintenance needs.

Why not raise ticket prices to help pay for everything?

Most non-profit performing arts organizations receive about 50% of their income from contributions. However, the Arts Center receives about 60% of its revenue from ticket sales because contributions are not high enough. We need more contributions to keep ticket prices accessible and revenues in balance. Thank you for your continued support.
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