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It takes a community: The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center as a nonprofit

The old adage is that it takes a village to raise a child and truly, we here at the Center can relate.

It took an entire community to raise the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center from a dream to the reality that is a thriving, state-of-the-art arts and cultural education organization.

As a nonprofit, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is challenged on a regular basis to seek financial support from the community to supplement the expense of bringing the best acts from all over the world, community outreach and a valuable education series that serves an average of 23,000 students each year.

Thanks to a dedicated community, we are able to support these wonderful programs through two major campaigns.


Each year our Annual Partners donate over $1.5 million to help to support the Boldt Arts Alive! Series and the Bemis Company Education Series including daytime performances, special classes and workshops for at-risk youth. This campaign also helps to subsidize the use of our facility for other groups and nonprofits, allowing the Center to be a gathering place for performances, meetings, receptions, celebrations and educational events. Annual Partners also help to support and develop community relationships and activities that utilize the arts to strengthen family units and support creative learning through specialized programs.



Photo by Ken Cobb

Our other source of support is the Keystone Campaign, a fund that exists to ensure the long term sustainability of the Center in the community. The Keystone Campaign is designed to provide sufficient cash reserves, working capital and the security to weather economic downturns or other unforeseen challenges.

The Keystone Campaign recently reached the major milestone of raising $25 million, thanks to a dedicated community and the strong leadership of visionaries Oscar and Pat Boldt, Barb and Chuck Merry and former Center President Susan Stockton. This amount reflects 208% of the Center’s operating budget, which falls into the 200-500% amount stated as a best practice by the National Arts Strategies Fund. While still on the low end of that recommendation, reaching this milestone means we as a Center are on the right track to assure that high quality live theatrical experiences are available in Northeast Wisconsin for generations to come. The Center will continue to seek support for this fund to meet ongoing needs and supplement growth and innovation for years to come.

Some Annual Partners also donate to the Keystone Campaign and vice versa noting that supporting the arts adds an immeasurable value to Northeast Wisconsin in terms of economic impact, adding to a vibrant community, building relationships and attracting families and employees to the region in addition to transforming the area through exceptional live performances.

We, as a nonprofit, would like to thank our donors who continue to support the arts and believe in our mission of being a gathering place for the community! To learn more how you can make a tax deductible gift to the Center, please visit or call the Advancement team at (930) 730-3782.


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