Right Here. Right Now. Wright State.

COVID-19 information and resources. Visit our Coronavirus website.

Combined Campaign

Culture Works

Culture Works strengthens the Dayton Region by supporting arts and culture through fundraising, grantmaking, marketing, and advocacy. We believe in the transformative power of the arts – from driving tourism and economic development in our community to empowering individuals through creative expression.

Culture Works Logo

How Your Donations Help Your Community

We know that the arts are an instrumental part of the fabric of our Dayton Region community. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dayton Region arts organizations were among the first to close their doors to protect our community and will likely be the last to be permitted to open. Performing arts organizations such as the Dayton Ballet, Philharmonic, and Opera and The Human Race Theatre Company have been drastically impacted by the closure of their stages since March 2020. These organizations, like many others, pivoted quickly to offer virtual events to the community, but we know seeing the arts on a screen does not provide the same experience as live theatre, art exhibits, and music. All Dayton Region’s arts organizations are struggling financially.

We need your help to #RestartTheArts. Our goal is that all our arts organizations will remain stable and able to reopen to once again gather us together for amazing cultural experiences.  Right now, emergency relief funding is helping most organizations continue their work behind the scenes, in the galleries, and on the stage (once they are permitted to do so), but significant challenges will come next season when relief funding is exhausted. The effect of the cancellation of important fundraising events such as the Art Ball, Ice Gala, Art Auction, and Oktoberfest will become apparent and arts organizations will be sorely in need of operating funds. Culture Works is committed to #RestartTheArts with the proceeds from this year’s Campaign for the Arts.

The annual Campaign for the Arts is a community-wide fundraising effort that mobilizes individuals, local companies, and foundations in support of Dayton Region arts organizations. More than fifty companies and organizations strengthen the Campaign through Workplace Campaigns like yours. Join those who support the arts through your workplace campaign and help us #RestartTheArts!

Your workplace campaign last year provided critical general operating support to: 

  • Bach Society of Dayton
  • The Contemporary Dayton
  • Dayton Art Institute
  • Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
  • Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic)
  • Discover Classical WDPR/WDPG
  • The Human Race Theatre Company
  • K12 Gallery & TEJAS
  • Muse Machine
  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Giving Information

Gifts of any amount are welcome! If you contribute $85 or more during the WSU Workplace Giving Campaign, you will receive a Passport to the Arts Membership for one year from the date you make your gift or pledge, which provides Buy-One, Get-One-FREE ticketing opportunities and other discounts. There is much uncertainty regarding when the performing arts will return to offering live events, but we hope to see activity back on our stages with Passport-discounted performances in early 2021.

You can make your gift online via a credit card (a single gift or up to 12 monthly installments), via payroll pledge with deductions starting in January 2021, or via a check mailed to Culture Works. To donate via check, print off a pledge form and mail it with your check to Culture Works; PO Box 706; Dayton, OH 45409.

Did You Know?

  • Culture Works has been supporting the region’s arts organizations as a United Arts Fund for over 40 years. Our fundraising and advocacy efforts serve arts and culture in nine counties within a 30-mile radius of our office in downtown Dayton: Montgomery, Miami, Clark, Greene, Warren, Butler, Preble, Clinton, and Darke.
  •  The Arts have a significant economic impact in the Dayton Region. A study of our region commissioned by Americans for the Arts in 2016 determined that arts and culture in just our four largest counties provides $214M in economic activity each year, supports 8,829 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $153M in resident household income, and $24M in local and state government revenue. The arts aren’t just “nice,” they’re business! Right now, the business of arts and culture in the Dayton Region is significantly suppressed by the pandemic.
  • Funds from each year’s Campaign for the Arts are granted as general operating support to our outstanding arts organizations. Unlike project support, this funding supports the day-to-day costs of operating as a business and is critical to allowing these organizations to continue providing the arts experiences we all enjoy. This support is especially critical right now since these organizations cannot fundraise on their own during public events and galas. Last year’s grant recipients of Campaign for the Arts funding are the Bach Society of Dayton, the Contemporary Dayton, The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, Discover Classical WDPR/WDPG, The Human Race Theatre Company, K12 Gallery & TEJAS, Muse Machine, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Emergency relief funding from county, state, and city grants will help most of the Region’s arts organizations stay open in the current timeframe. The critical period ahead will be next season, when these government grants are exhausted, and the lack of funds normally raised from galas, auctions, and other significant community events will be felt keenly. The operating support that Culture Works provides will be critically needed at that point. We ask you for your contribution to this #RestartTheArts effort!
  • Culture Works serves as the primary connecting point between the arts, business, and government. We organize annual meetings between area arts leaders and state elected officials to discuss the critical role the arts play in economic development, education, and healthcare and to advocate for continued government support of arts and culture. 
  • The Culture Works Leonard P. Roberts Scholarship provides financial aid for Dayton Region graduating high school seniors and current college students who demonstrate outstanding participation in and patronage of the arts. Many recipients of this scholarship have attended Wright State University.
  • This past year, Culture Works launched artsDEEP, a website for educators and education administrators to quickly identify and learn about arts experiences for their students that align with their teaching curriculum. Most larger arts organizations and many individual artists offer educational programming, both in and out of the classroom, that can be tailored to meet the Ohio educational standards for not only Art and Music instruction, but for subjects such as Science, Mathematics, and Language Arts. ArtsDEEP brings these organizations and artists together via the use of one website so that educators can easily find engaging and affordable events to enhance classroom learning and spur student interest by teaching in new ways.
  • Culture Works will be moving into the Dayton Arcade in 2021. This beautifully renewed hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and the arts is a natural fit for the continued mission of our organization to support and advocate for the Region’s arts and cultural community. Come visit us there soon when renovation is completed!