Greaves concert kicks off Fine Arts drive

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will give a free performance in Northern Kentucky University’s Greaves Concert Hall on Feb. 17, as part of the 16th Annual Fine Arts Fund Sampler Weekend.

The Sampler weekend features 143 free events at 47 venues across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. It is the official kickoff for the Fine Arts fund-raising campaign.

The Sampler Weekend is the beginning of the campaign, which will last all year. The weekend of free entertainment is intended to raise local awareness of arts organizations.

“Cincinnati, for its size, has one of the best arts communities in the nation,” said Mike Boberg, communications manager for the Fine Arts Fund. The free weekend gives the community a chance to experience many of the area’s art forms without paying any admission.

“We see people in the audience who we never see. We see kids that for one reason or another can’t come throughout the year,” Boberg said.

The event has grown over the years with the addition of more acts and venues nearly every year.

Other Northern Kentucky venues include The Artery, Boone and Kenton County libraries, the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and the Behringer Crawford Museum.

Ohio venues include many of the local colleges including Miami University, Xavier University, Raymond Walters College, the College of Mt. St. Joseph and UC Clermont College.

“We do try to utilize all local college campuses for the weekend if possible,” said Boberg. Adding that parking is convenient at these locations and it helps to raise awareness among college students as well.

The Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts established the Fine Arts Fund in 1949.

The Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund is the oldest and third largest united arts campaign in the country. The Fine Arts Fund helps to financially support 17 local art organizations, including the Cincinnati Art Museum and Playhouse in the Park.

The Fine Arts Fund raised $9.17 million dollars from 47,000 contributors in 2001. NKU’s faculty and staff contributed $2,142 last year Boberg said the campaigning efforts are primarily targeted at companies and foundations, which then conduct their own fund-raising within their organization.

All the money collected is donated to the fund in the name of the company or foundation.

If a student is interested in making a contribution, contact Barry Andersen at 572- 5883. The campaign will run for most of February.

If you would like free tickets to this event or a schedule of all events, call the Fine Arts Fund at (513) 230-5000.