Artsbridge completes fundraiser

PARKERSBURG – Artsbridge has completed its annual fundraiser, reaching $122,443.44 of its $145,000 goal in the Arts Fund Drive that started in March, officials announced Tuesday.

Despite falling short, the 2013 total is the second largest campaign in the last seven years, Executive Director Mark Lanyon said.

“With the help of donations, Artsbridge has been able to continue its mission for more than 26 years, improving the quality of life in the Mid-Ohio Valley through the arts and arts education,” Lanyon said. “Thousands of children and adults have had the opportunity to experience hands-on art, live music, theater and much, much more.”

An Artsbridge program is the Artists-on-Tour Series, which involves three tours, two in the fall and one in the spring, for elementary schools in West Virginia and Ohio. Another program is the Catalog of Artists and Performers, which provides programs and artists available to elementary school classrooms to augment curriculum.

Artsbridge also organizes the Very Spectacular Arts Festival each year for children with disabilities. The Kids’ Arts Fest and Kids’ Concerts are two free annual summer events held in Parkersburg and Marietta.

The Summer Music Series provides free musical entertainment on Thursday evenings at City Park in Parkersburg.

Using funds from the Arts Fund Drive, Lanyon said Artsbridge also will be able to provide more than $23,000 to other arts organizations, from ballet schools to symphonies. in the Parkersburg-Marietta area. Special Project grants are awarded to organizations with a specific production or objective, such as composing music for a play or restoring artwork.

“The success of this year’s drive is thanks entirely to the generosity of supporters who recognize the importance of the arts in our community,” said Roger Anderson of Marietta, chairman of this year’s fund drive.

This year’s Platinum donors include the McDonough Foundation, the Wood County Commission, the Fenton Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harry Esbenshade Jr., Mary Riccobene, United Bank, the Jean G. Graham Foundation, BB&T, Betty Lutz, Anna Bailey, Frank and Becky Deem, Dr. Shane and Tatum Parmer, Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal, WesBanco, Geoff Coward and David Dernberger, the Wood County Commission, the city of Vienna and the city of Williamstown.

Gold donors include Conley Law Office, Christy & Associates, Community Bank, Sally Evans, Mike and Cathy King, Paula McHenry, Betsy Smith Murray, David and Rhonda Poling, Lee Rector, Mickey Welch, Harry Esbenshade III and Peoples Bank.

Silver donors include Kemron (Microbac), Sarah Townsend, Kay Callihan, Charlene Crooks, Charles Hughes and Jan Dils, Dr. George and Mary Gevas, William Haas, Michael and Diane Hensley, Dr. Anna E. Hughes, Ron and Sara Jalbert, Sue Ellen Johnson, Barry and Joe Ellen Louden, Cathy Martin, Peter Polites and Virginia Mayle, McHappy’s Bake Shop, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pickering, Joseph and Betty Rutter, Sabic Innovative Plastics, Judy Sjostedt, Wal-Bon of Ohio, Dan and Sharon Wharton and Charles and Shirley Whitaker.