CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Clay Center President Judy Wellington's report to the organization's board of directors Thursday started with, "Welcome to Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. and company!" -- a joke about fans' enthusiasm to the Logan crooner's three sold-out Clay Center performances.
"It almost overwhelmed us but we stayed on top of it," she said.
Other headliners during the Clay Center's fall season were able to cover the Center's costs through ticket sales, Wellington reported. But sponsors are still needed to spread the risk when bringing in big names (and possibly losing money on shows) and to help with the Center's overhead costs.
Financially, the center remains on sound footing, but treasurer Charles Avampato said the endowment investments have fluctuated with the market.
"For the long term, we believe we have the proper investments for our funds," Avampato stressed.
A recent study showed the Clay Center's government sponsorship is significantly lower than comparable centers. The development team is working to find ways to tap into those sources. Additionally, the center is working to add members to the Clay Legacy Society and the Chairman's Guild, two funding initiatives for high-dollar donors.
In other fundraising news, the board discussed an upgraded McClaugherty Raffle, which benefits the Clay Center and the West Virginia Symphony. Carnaval Rio, a masquerade ball to benefit the Clay Center and the Charleston Ballet, is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2012.
Museum attendance projections for the year have not been met, Wellington said. The organization is examining ways to increase memberships.
An upcoming lecture series, created by Mary Price Ratrie, the curator of Art Arif Khan, will focus on the interaction between science and art, and has been funded in part by the West Virginia Humanities Council. Khan has organized several upcoming art exhibits, including one featuring art by Native Americans.
Board Chairwoman Ellen Cappellanti praised a report by Phil Neubaum, the building operations manager, which detailed energy conservation plans and a schedule for equipment replacement.
The Clay Center's education department is sponsoring "Whole Arts Integration," which is planned for April at Chamberlain Elementary. Teachers and students will receive information for integrating arts education across all subjects during the school day.Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.