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Phipps Center announces annual fund campaign; goal is $260,000

A lively group of individuals gathered for a breakfast meeting Tuesday at the Phipps Center for the Arts to kick off the center's annual fund-raising campaign. On hand for the event were, front row from left, individual co-chair Laura Foster, board president Tom Dahle and individual co-chair Yvonne Larsen; back executive director John Potter, individual co-chairs Judy Freund and Dick Whitcomb, business co-chair Tom Holland, individual co-chairs Vance Haesemeyer and Sheila Lutiger, and campaign chairman J...

The Phipps Center for the Arts recently announced the beginning of its annual fund campaign, with a goal of raising $260,000.

Working with campaign chairman Jim Lutiger are chairs Laura Foster, Judy Freund, Vance Haesemeyer, Yvonne Larsen, Sheila Lutiger, Dick Whitcomb and Tom Holland. There are 42 campaign members from the Hudson area.

Since 1983, the Phipps Drama Council mounted over 100 productions; The Phipps Children's Theater, featuring students performing for family audiences, produced nearly 100 shows; the Music Council presented or produced nearly 250 concerts and offered 150 theater pipe organ concerts; the Visual Arts Council mounted well over 300 exhibitions or art fairs; and the Volunteer Council provided supporting services for all of the programming of the councils.

In addition, hundreds of lessons, classes and workshops in the performing and visual arts were offered every season.

Perhaps the most noteworthy statistic during this time is that over 1,000 volunteers contributed nearly 1 million hours of service. Activities included planning the season of events, jurying and installing gallery shows, performing, front-of-house management, selling tickets, operating light and sound equipment, as well as building sets, properties and costumes.

The center's roots have grown deep into the St. Croix Valley community. The founders of The Phipps now bring their grandchildren to the center. Alumni of The Phipps Children's Theater and students who participated in theater, dance, music, or visual arts classes now bring their children to events and lessons at the center. The Phipps' story spans generations.

"I invite you to join me and over 800 others in advancing the mission of The Phipps by becoming a member today," said Lutiger.

Any adult who makes a monetary contribution to The Phipps Center will be a member during the 2009 calendar year. This entitles a person to enter the Annual Members' Art Exhibition; receive a 20 percent discount during the opening weekend of "A Gift by the Hand," the annual holiday exhibition and sale, as well as during "In Full Bloom," the spring re-opening of the gift galleries; and vote at the annual meeting.

An individual gift of $25 or more makes a person eligible to receive a subscription to Marquee, the bimonthly newsletter. A gift of $75 or more will be recognized in season program covers. A gift of $275 or more identifies the individual as a member of The Phipps Circle, who is entitled to invitations to special receptions. A donor of $1,000 or more will receive all of the previous benefits plus acknowledgment as a member of The Directors Circle and an invitation to the annual recognition dinner.

"Combined with the contributions of others, your gift will help assure that we meet our goal in order for The Phipps to realize its vision of becoming one of the finest community art centers in the nation. Be part of the story -- become a member of The Phipps today," said Lutiger.

For more information, call (715) 386-2305 or visit