A look at artistic groups involved in Scioto Foundation’s upcoming Scioto Gives, which has 26 participants


Joseph Pratt

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Dozens upon dozens of non-profit organizations work around the clock, and around the calendar, to make the area a better place. From assisting homeless people to homeless pets, from education supplements to artistic opportunities; the area is bountiful with dedicated locals committed to the betterment of our home.

It is that time of year again for many of these organizations to reap the benefits of matched donations, thanks to the staff at the Scioto Foundation.

The Scioto Foundation offers many opportunities for community development, from scholarships to watching over endowment funds. They will be matching incoming donations to their registered non-profit organization accounts this year with the annual Scioto Gives event.

The Scioto Gives event is an annual fund raising drive that is held through the Scioto Foundation. The Foundation encourages and entices donations by offering a match to funds. They recently received a $10,000 donation that has raised their match price to now offer $40,000 in matching funds.

Last year’s event awarded $80,258.95 in funds to participating groups.

26 organizations will be partaking in the Scioto Gives event this year on October 22.

Contributions from donors will be received on the SF website, www.sciotogives.org from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on October 22. Using the pull-down menu on the website, donors can select their charity and the amount they wish to donate, list credit card information and press “donate.”

Donors can also drop checks off at the Foundation’s office at 303 Chillicothe Street or transfer stocks between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the designated day.

Creating an endowment with Scioto Foundation can bring nonprofit organizations numerous benefits, according to Director Kim Cutlip.

“Endowment funds provide for safe and stable investments of funds and offer a method of steadily growing an organization’s funds,” Cutlip said. “An endowment fund is also an acknowledgment of an organization’s value to the community, and it encourages an increase of donor support through opportunities for memorials and special gifts. It also establishes a solid financial base for the future.”

Some of the artistic non-profit organizations participating this year include Portsmouth Wind Symphony, Portsmouth Little Theatre, Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association, Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center, and Portsmouth Area Arts Council.

Portsmouth Little Theatre (PLT) created its fund this year. Members of PLT’s Board of Governors say they are looking forward to their developing partnership with the Foundation.

According to PLT’s publicist, Leigh Anne Smith, PLT’s endowment fund was created to preserve, maintain, and restore their building to its historical value to the Portsmouth cultural arena.

“The Board of Governors is extremely grateful to the Scioto Foundation for guiding us in creating our foundation and including PLT in The Day of Giving this year, along with many of our sister non-profits. October 22nd is truly a day of smiles for our area.”

The Portsmouth Area Arts Council (PAAC) is returning this year, looking forward to building its fund further.

Donations designated for the Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Children’s Theatre go straight into the endowment fund, which has been slowly and steadily growing over the past half dozen years. Proceeds from the endowment help PAAC pay for Children’s Theatre Scholarships, which are awarded to up to two graduating senior company students.

“We are very passionate about supporting our actors and continuing to provide these scholarships to help with their educational goals in the arts,” Director Becky Lovins said.

The Portsmouth Wind Symphony(PWS) is also a new organization to join the Scioto Foundation.

The Portsmouth Wind Symphony has been going strong, playing classical and pop music for 23 seasons. The group is composed of outstanding musicians— community members, friends, and teachers— joined by accomplished soloists and guest performers from the tri-state area.

PWS performs unique twists on classical and pop music several times a year, and have also invoked patriotic spirit in locals for many years with their annual Fourth of July concert in Tracy Park, just before the fireworks.

Funds raised will go towards sustaining the organization and keeping ticket prices low, in order to ensure the longevity of providing music to Scioto County residents for many years to come.

The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA) will be another performing arts organization in the fundraiser.

SOPAA is celebrating 20 years of partnering with Shawnee State, with an even longer history dating back to 1951, under an organization named Community Concert Association. Now, SOPAA brings a large series of performances, ranging from Broadway, classical music, family shows, and popular music concerts.

In addition to the concerts, members of the local community and schools have an opportunity meet and closely work with artists.

“None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the presence of so many assets in the community; the excellent performance spaces of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts; the tireless work of the SOPAA board; and the faithful support of dozens of local companies, individuals and organizations like the Scioto Foundation which helps subsidize tickets for students and senior citizens and supports school outreach programs,” Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Director Joe Patti said.

Finally, for the third consecutive year, the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC) will once again be an active and enthusiastic participant in this important effort. SOMACC is Portsmouth’s premier art gallery that highlights huge works several times a year, maintains many permanent collections, and has a growing performing arts itinerary.

“The Scioto Foundation is the Museum’s single, largest source of funding”, Mark Chepp, SOMACC executive director said. “Without the support of the Foundation, Museum programs, including exhibitions, performances, lectures and studio art classes, would simply not happen. I encourage anyone who is planning a monetary gift to the Museum this year, to consider multiplying its effects by making it on October 22.”

For more information, contact the Scioto Foundation at 740-354-4612.

This story is the first part of a series that will run five weeks, highlighting the groups involved in Scito Gives.

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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