City of Winston-Salem wants public donations to help finish art project

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The City of Winston-Salem is hoping a popular fundraising method will help it pay for upgrades to a project that it's already paid for.

Last year, the city agreed to spend $30,000 on the Centennial statue. That money came from the public art fund that the city has been saving and which still has money in it.

Instead of dipping back into the fund though, the city is accepting help from the Arts Council to make the structure taller. That will cost an additional $6,000.

"They were really excited to help us and it just so happened that at the point they were reaching out to us to offer some assistance I was talking to the artist and I said if the Arts Council is willing to assist, this would be a great way to do it," said Evan Raleigh, assistant to the city manager in Winston-Salem.

The help comes in the form of a crowd sourcing website that allows people to donate money that will then be matched by the Arts Council. That means only $3,000 in public donations will be needed to meet the goal.

"Not everybody has the means to give large gifts so this is a way the Arts Council is kind of championing the public to be a donor and come on board and have a piece of the project," said Dara Silver, the grant manager for the Arts Council.

Silver said this fundraising effort also helps market the art, and gets people talking about the project and sharing their contributions through social media.

"These are the creative solutions that a community comes up with to find additional dollars for projects, just to make something better," said Silver.

Raleigh said the online donations are only an option because the Arts Council came to the city offering help.

"We probably would have just gone with the original proposal that would have fit within the budget we had set aside for the project," said Raleigh.

The fundraising effort will be open through mid-August.

If you'd like more information about what you could receive for your donations go to the website. When you're on the home page, choose your state and choose your community to find the Centennial Art Piece.