The Lawrence Arts Center’s “Shaken & Stirred” fall fundraiser increases access to arts education for all

The Lawrence Arts Center’s James Bond-themed fall fundraiser “Shaken& Stirred” took place this past Saturday, September 17th, and attracted over 200 guests for dinner, dancing, and drinks in support of the Lawrence Arts Center’s arts education and financial aid programs. Guests welcomed new CEO Kimberly Williams, thanked outgoing CEO Susan Tate for her years of service, and raised over $61,000 for the Arts Center’s financial aid fund.

The Lawrence Arts Center’s financial aid fund provides arts education to more than 100 preschool children from Head Start, the Children’s Learning Center, and the Little Nations Academic Center annually; supports arts education classes for 200 Boys & Girls Club participants at the Arts Center facilities each year; offers classes free of charge to any participants in CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Lawrence Community Shelter, and Family Promise; and provides weekly arts programming to teens at the Juvenile Detention Center and the County Day School. In 2015-2016, the Lawrence Arts Center gave out over $142,000 in financial aid, and the organization will continue to seek support for this program so that it can ensure access to arts education for all.

The Lawrence Arts Center also announced the renaming of its Visiting & Resident Artist Fund at the fundraiser. This fund, which brings artists from across the country and around the globe to Lawrence and offers area residents a unique opportunity to study with practicing artists of varied background and diverse skills, will be renamed in honor of Susan Tate. Over the course of her six-year tenure as CEO of the Arts Center, Tate raised over $700,000 for the Visiting & Resident Artist Fund, and the Fund has supported over 400 different artists from across the nation and around the globe. The new title of the fund commemorates Tate’s passion for supporting artists as they create new work and interact with the local creative community.

The “Shaken & Stirred” fall fundraiser was a success thanks to Clark Huesemann, Midwest Property Management, Bittersweet Floral & Design, Boulevard Brewing Company, Breakout Lawrence, City Wine Market, Crown Distributors, Inc., Evan Williams Catering, Grandstand Glassware & Apparel, Hang the Moon Designs, Mainline Printing, and the Thomas D. Galloway Family, as well as the many table sponsors, members of the decoration and planning committee, performers from the Arts Center’s School of Dance faculty, and the Lawrence Arts Center tech crew and hospitality staff.