Everything you've ever wanted to know about Chandler Center for the Arts

Archive for October 2, 2012

Eat Your Art Out Chandler? What is that?

When the Chandler Cultural Foundation’s  fundraising committee put their fundraising hats on last season, they wanted to create an event that brought the community together; an event where lots of people could participate and be actively involved in supporting the arts in Chandler; much in the same spirit that got the Center built 23 year ago.   The answer was Eat Your Art Out Chandler which was held on Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

For those of you who are new to the area, the Chandler Center for the Arts building is owned by the Chandler Unified School District and the City of Chandler.  Against all odds, under the guidance of then Mayor Jerry Brooks (and Chandler Cultural Foundation Board Member Emeritus), these two government entities came together with the support of the community 23 years ago and raised $10 million to get the Center built.  They created an agreement where the school district had priority use of the facility Monday-Thursday for it’s (now 44 ) schools in the district and the non-profit Chandler Cultural Foundation, established by the City of Chandler to oversee operations at the Center, would book headline entertainment, visual arts programming, hold fundraising activities and rent out the facility to various groups Friday-Sunday. This unique and nontraditional partnership has been used as a model for similar partnerships across the nation over the past 23 years.

While we are a City of Chandler and Chandler Unified School District building, our artistic and outreach programs are privately supported. The Chandler Center for the Arts receives no direct appropriations for artistic programming. Our appropriations must be applied only to the maintenance and operation of the actual building. Ticket sales and other earned income cover only part of our programming expenses, which means we must rely on donations in order to deliver quality arts programs at an affordable cost to the public.

Last February, we held the first Eat Your Art Out Chandler community event that brought together Chandler restaurants, arts patrons and corporate sponsors for one day to show their support for the arts in Chandler. Funds from Eat Your Art Out Chandler went to support various programs at the Center including headline entertainment, the Free Summer Concert Series and the Connecting Kidz programs.

Restaurants helped by selecting a mealtime (breakfast, lunch, dinner or all day) and donated 25-100% of their proceeds from that time-frame to the Chandler Center for the Arts on Tuesday, February 28. The community helped by eating at one or more of the participating restaurants on that day during those time frames.

The media helped by donating over $110,000 worth of advertising to promote the event and the 17 participating restaurants.  When all was said and done,  the community raised just under $10,000 for the Center!  It was a huge success and an event we are doing again next Tuesday, February 26, 2013!