Diversified Funding Base Keeps This Non-Profit Afloat

By Corrine Casanova

Since 1986, Arts for All Nevada (AFAN), a non-profit (501c3) organization, has been helping the community appreciate art. Annually, they hold 3,000 workshops and camps for children and adults of all ages and abilities throughout Nevada in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and after-school programs. They are housed in the historic Lake Mansion at 250 Court St. in downtown Reno. There are so many stories to tell about this organization including how they moved the Lake Mansion structure, the home and headquarters for AFAN, down Virginia Street twice!

With an annual overall operating budget of $350,000, they do a lot with a small budget and small staff. For 30 years the organization has benefited from a committed volunteer board of directors, a dedicated staff and talented teaching and exhibiting artists. Executive Director, Mary Ellen Horan has witnessed many changes throughout the years, but there’s been one consistent theme throughout the history of AFAN, a strong message that art matters in any community. Horan left a busy job in the advertising/marketing world to pursue her dream of making AFAN successful. She has an MBA from the University of Nevada Reno which greatly assists her in doing more with less.

Like many non-profit organizations, AFAN has a diversified funding base to include support from corporations/corporate foundations (5% of budget), private foundations (20%), service groups (5%), individuals (5%) and from governmental entities including Nevada Arts Council (5%) and the City of Reno (5%). In 2001, AFAN partnered with Nevada Arts Council to develop the first in the country license plate designed by a child and one of the first Nevada specialty plates. Funds from the “Rich in Art” license plate sales are split with Nevada Arts Council for children’s art programming throughout the state. Special event fundraisers include “teas” at the Lake Mansion and Connections annual yard + art = yART Sale where AFAN receives 20% of all sales.

Since 2000, due to the lack of quality and affordable art opportunities in the area for the general public, AFAN started offering open-to-the-public youth art camps and art classes for children and adults. This program has expanded to offer after-school classes at seven public and private schools and year-round at Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks and at the Lake Mansion in Reno and contributes to 30% of AFAN’s total budget. In 2011, AFAN was the pioneer in the area to offer “Paint & Sips” to the public to include a quality arts experience while socializing with others. In addition to public Paint & Sips, businesses and individuals can arrange for a private art event and bring their own food and beverage for a minimal fee.

 

-togethers and holiday parties. In 2008, AFAN added an adjacent 700 square foot open spaced modern building to accommodate for additional meeting and special event rental and workshops space. Several local and national businesses have held monthly meetings at the location including a corporate murder mystery and team building events. The rental program makes up approximately 10% of AFAN’s total budget.

By Corrine Casanova

Since 1986, Arts for All Nevada (AFAN), a non-profit (501c3) organization, has been helping the community appreciate art. Annually, they hold 3,000 workshops and camps for children and adults of all ages and abilities throughout Nevada in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and after-school programs. They are housed in the historic Lake Mansion at 250 Court St. in downtown Reno. There are so many stories to tell about this organization including how they moved the Lake Mansion structure, the home and headquarters for AFAN, down Virginia Street twice!

With an annual overall operating budget of $350,000, they do a lot with a small budget and small staff. For 30 years the organization has benefited from a committed volunteer board of directors, a dedicated staff and talented teaching and exhibiting artists. Executive Director, Mary Ellen Horan has witnessed many changes throughout the years, but there’s been one consistent theme throughout the history of AFAN, a strong message that art matters in any community. Horan left a busy job in the advertising/marketing world to pursue her dream of making AFAN successful. She has an MBA from the University of Nevada Reno which greatly assists her in doing more with less.

Like many non-profit organizations, AFAN has a diversified funding base to include support from corporations/corporate foundations (5% of budget), private foundations (20%), service groups (5%), individuals (5%) and from governmental entities including Nevada Arts Council (5%) and the City of Reno (5%). In 2001, AFAN partnered with Nevada Arts Council to develop the first in the country license plate designed by a child and one of the first Nevada specialty plates. Funds from the “Rich in Art” license plate sales are split with Nevada Arts Council for children’s art programming throughout the state. Special event fundraisers include “teas” at the Lake Mansion and Connections annual yard + art = yART Sale where AFAN receives 20% of all sales.

Since 2000, due to the lack of quality and affordable art opportunities in the area for the general public, AFAN started offering open-to-the-public youth art camps and art classes for children and adults. This program has expanded to offer after-school classes at seven public and private schools and year-round at Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks and at the Lake Mansion in Reno and contributes to 30% of AFAN’s total budget. In 2011, AFAN was the pioneer in the area to offer “Paint & Sips” to the public to include a quality arts experience while socializing with others. In addition to public Paint & Sips, businesses and individuals can arrange for a private art event and bring their own food and beverage for a minimal fee.

 

-togethers and holiday parties. In 2008, AFAN added an adjacent 700 square foot open spaced modern building to accommodate for additional meeting and special event rental and workshops space. Several local and national businesses have held monthly meetings at the location including a corporate murder mystery and team building events. The rental program makes up approximately 10% of AFAN’s total budget.

 

AFAN accepts in-kind donations by corporations, but also supplies and services (electrical, plumbing, marketing, HVAC, IT, etc.) plus programs where corporate employees individually or as a group volunteer for AFAN. Horan encourages local businesses to get to know AFAN and take advantage of the low rental rates for the Lake Mansion and the community center. This month’s Artown is jam packed with AFAN events. Go to http://www.renoisartown.com/ for a full listing of events.

 

 

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