10 great reasons to connect to Culture Works

Organization publishes free annual arts guide.

Have you noticed when you attend an arts event or exhibit in our area it’s often preceded by a thank-you to Culture Works? That’s because the organization is so often responsible for helping to fund and to promote the experience you’re about to enjoy. Granting funds to local arts organizations for general operating support has been the primary mission of Culture Works for more than forty-five years – and it continues to this day.

We know many folks are drawn to our area because of its exciting range of cultural opportunities. Today there are more than 180 nonprofit arts organizations operating within the eight county area Culture Works serves. That’s in addition to arts-focused community groups and individual artists.

The exciting news is that Culture Works recently moved into a beautiful new suite of offices at the Arcade downtown and recently published its free “Guide to Arts & Culture.”

Whether you’re a working artist, an arts organization or an appreciative member of an audience, there are plenty of good reasons to connect to Culture Works. With the help of the organization’s staffers, we’ve come up with 10 of them.

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1. Passport to the Arts Program: Connect if you’re a fan of discounted performance and museum tickets, restaurant meals, retail items and more. The Culture Works Passport to the Arts Program has been around for decades, providing Buy-One Get-One free options for everything from Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Muse Machine performances to the Dayton Art Institute and Springfield Museum of Art admissions. Those who donate $85 or more to Culture Works each year receive the passport in the mail.

2. Guide to Arts & Culture: Connect to receive a free copy of the “2021-2022 Guide to Arts & Culture in the Dayton Region.” “We publish the Guide each year as part of our advocacy efforts to promote the outstanding variety of local arts and cultural performing organizations, galleries, festivals, museums, and centers we have here in the Dayton Region,” explains Dorie Watts, manager of strategic initiatives. “We consider it an important community service to help everyone find their next arts experience, whether new to the Dayton Region or a lifelong resident.” To get a free copy mailed to you, just email staff@cultureworks.org

3. Leonard P. Roberts Scholarship: Connect if you’re a high school or college student who may be eligible for the Leonard P. Roberts Scholarship. It it has provided $400,000 to 200 students over the years.

4. Artist Opportunity Grant: Connect if you’re an individual artist who lives in Montgomery County. The Artist Opportunity Grant program provides financial assistance to Montgomery County artists to further their careers through professional development opportunities and through opportunities associated with new works. This program is made possible by funding from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District (MCACD) and is administered by Culture Works.

5. Special Projects Grant: Connect if you’re a small-to-midsize arts organization, school, government agency, or other nonprofit based in Montgomery County seeking funds for an arts or cultural project. The Special Projects Grant program has given away more than $300,000 since its inception in 2020. This program is also funded by the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District (MCACD) and administered by Culture Works.

6. New to the area: Connect if you are new to the area and want to learn about the wealth of arts and cultural opportunities in the Dayton Region – or if you have lived here all your life and still don’t know everything! Culture Works can tell you all about the outstanding large arts organizations that you may know a little about, but they can also tell you about less well-known but just as amazing gems like the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield, TheatreLab Dayton, and the Pamana Dance Group founded in Dayton.

7. ArtsDEEP: Connect if you’re a teacher, school administrator, or homeschooling parent who wants to learn more about arts education opportunities for K-12 students. ArtsDEEP, run by Culture Works, is a listing of the wide variety of both in-school and field trip-based educational programming available to students in the Dayton Region. Find out more at artsdeep.cultureworks.org

8. Free Arcade events: Connect if you’re interested in free community events occurring at the Arcade. Culture Works, in partnership with Arcade developer Cross Street Partners, coordinated the return of Holly Days in December. Look for more of these events throughout the year!

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

9. Local arts support: Connect if you love local arts and culture! A great way to share that passion is by making a gift to the Dayton Region arts community as a whole. All arts organizations, large and small, are underpinned by support from their local region. In return, the region benefits both economically and through improved quality of life. Culture Works grants nearly $372,000 to support our region’s arts organizations each year, an amount significantly reduced in 2020 and 2021. The past two years have made the need for local support even more important.

10. Private event space at the Arcade: Connect if you are interested in holding an event at the Arcade. Culture Works moved into the former Charley’s Crab location on the second floor of the Arcade in spring 2021 and also took on the role of managing events in both the Arcade Rotunda and the Tank, inspired by CenterPoint Energy, on the lower level. If you’re planning a wedding, class reunion, small performance event, or business meeting, talk to the team at Dayton Arcade Events, the events arm of Culture Works. Once fully established, net proceeds from venue rentals will be reinvested into the arts in our community.

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