Last updated: October 29. 2013 5:11PM - 624 Views
Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

Willingham Theater is preparing to host several big productions and community acts in the coming months.
Willingham Theater is preparing to host several big productions and community acts in the coming months.
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YADKINVILLE — The Yadkin Arts Council held a small event Oct. 22 night to kick start its 2013 fundraiser — Dream Big!

The fundraiser will run from now until the end of December with the proceeds going toward the Cultural Arts Center and its continuing productions.

The council’s John Willingham spoke to the audience of 10 people and explained the fundraiser’s goals.

In its first three years, the center has seen donations come in and the Willingham Theater open last year. Now with things well under way, the focus is shifting to keeping quality programs and performers coming in regularly.

Big-name performers cost big bucks to draw them to any venue. For Yadkinville to host names like Steve Martin and the like, costs would reach into several tens of thousands of dollars.

Donations annually help the center host six art exhibits, including the popular local furniture makers showcase.

Rather than do random solicitations and other fundraising activities the council has decided to do a once-a-year event to gather money.

The council has set a $30,000 goal because of the successful fundraising campaign in 2012. That year the council raised roughly $14,000 through an unofficial fundraiser, so expectations are doubled for the concerted efforts this year.

The $30,000 represents 11 percent of the center’s total budget.

Willingham said 2,500 solicitation letters would be sent out as of Oct. 22. He then introduced the group the man who will head the campaign — Surry Community College’s Wayne Matthews.

Willingham joked that people would be sick of Matthews coming up to them over the next two months. He expressed support for Matthews and hopes his experience and respect in the community will lead to big rewards in the beginning campaign.

One way the council is looking to draw dollars is a monthly donor program. Donors can choose an amount to be billed to their credit card each month instead of writing a check or making a one-time-only donation.

Willingham told of future plans for the arts center as the attendees sipped wine and ate sandwiches. He also drew tickets for two passes to the Kruger Brothers’ performance later in the year.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.

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