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Waupaca Community Arts Board gets more support during pandemic

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:30 PM CST
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WAUPACA, Wis. (WBAY) - Many nonprofits this year haven’t been able to rely on a typical amount of donations. One Waupaca organization holds only one fundraiser a year and wasn’t expecting much in 2020, but have been surprised.

“It’s so needed for people to come together and I think that’s why people get it,” said Marci Reynolds, President of the Waupaca Community Arts Board (WCAB).

The nonprofit strives to build community through the arts, and this year the arts board has been trying to keep people connected.

“We really pivoted,” said Reynolds. “We cancelled out in person events and created all new events.”

Among new take home crafting projects and distanced community art displays, Reynolds says they decided to continue with their annual Friends of WCAB fundraising campaign online.

They weren’t expecting much, all things considered.

“We didn’t increase our goal this year because we thought ‘Oh, pandemic’ and there’s so many other things people need,” said Reynolds. “But we were pretty shocked at the response we got.”

Only two weeks into the five-week campaign Reynolds says their $5,000 goal was met - and now it’s been exceeded.

“Very pleased because I think it’s directly tied to the niche we’re filling for people during this time,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds believes the variety of content they’ve shared online has helped people feel involved in the community while encouraged to stay home.

The group’s shared art project ideas, poetry readings, virtual music performances, and showed people step by step the creation of the city’s new, large mural.

A mural which was only possible because of the bigger arts board events that were cancelled, so sponsors for those events put money toward the mural instead.

She also says they’ve developed even stronger partnerships with other community arts organizations, which helped create more collaborative virtual offerings and events.

“I think we’ve developed our skills of being online and knowing that balance between being on screen and doing something,” said Reynolds. “It’s taking us into the future, it’s really rewriting our future as an organization... and with the other great organizations that are here, we’re all kind of holding hands.”

It’s a balance they plan to use moving forward, with the community’s support behind them.

“It feels like we’ve reached our ultimate long-range goal of becoming a creative community that values the arts and sees it as integral to everyday life,” said Reynolds.

The Friends of WCAB Annual Campaign is still running and can be found HERE.

People who donate $50 or more receive a decorated reusable tote bag.

To learn more about WCAB visit its website or Facebook page.

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