Profiles of Arts Grantmakers

Hallmark Arts & Culture Program

Ed Jones

As a company built on creative expression, Hallmark Cards has maintained a longstanding commitment to supporting the arts. Hallmark's charitable contributions come from the profits of Hallmark Cards, Inc., and from the Hallmark Corporate Foundation, an endowed foundation funded solely by Hallmark Cards. During the year 2000, arts and culture philanthropy totaled $2,173,897 or 23 percent of the company's overall charitable program. The majority of Hallmark's charitable resources are contibuted to organizations based in and providing services to the urban core of the metropolitan Kansas City area and in other communities where Hallmark facilties are located, including Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Topeka, Kansas; Liberty, Missouri; Center, Texas; Columbus, Georgia; Metamora, Illinois; and Enfield, Connecticut.

In 1979, a formula method was developed and subsequently revised over the years in order to encourage arts organizations to take businesslike approaches to management, marketing, and financial management and to encourage increased earned income; to stress the development of artistic quality; and to reinforce the importance of expanding the arts organizations' audiences through audience development and community outreach. Currently, the formula method is used to calculate annual operating support grants to Kansas City's four major performing arts organizations: The Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera, and Missouri Repertory Theatre. Other substantial arts grants in the year 2000 went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for a capital campaign and to the Lawrence Arts Center for capital and other support.

The formula method involves rating the organizations on three criteria: overall management, artistic quality, and audience development/community outreach. Also, Hallmark Foundation staff members visit with the artistic, management, and board leaders to discuss current and previous years' activities.

In addition to support for major local professional organizations that have a broad impact on the community, the Hallmark Foundation also maintains two Small Grants Programs. Maximum grants are $5,000 to eligible organizations with operating budgets in the range of $25,000 to $1 million.

Small Grants in Support of Cultural Diversity in the Arts provide support for organizations that have demonstrated quality and achievement in fostering understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and preserve and encourage the art and cultural experiences of racial and ethnic groups through their programming and/or the audiences they serve. Examples of funded programs and projects include Fiesta Hispana Heritage Week, Kansas City Blues & Jazz Festival, and South Slavic Heritage Mural project.

Small Grants Program for Youth and the Arts focuses on organizations whose programs foster artistic opportunities for young people in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Examples of funded programs and projects include Paul Mesner Puppets marketing materials, Kansas City Youth Symphony guest artist residency, and SummerFest Concerts youth outreach program.

Hallmark also annually supports a selected number of arts-related schools of higher education and art student competitions that promote excellence and diversity.

In addition to its direct grants program, since 1980 Hallmark has offered a Performing Arts Corporate 50/50 Ticket Program for all Hallmark employees and retirees. The company pays one-half the actual cost of season or single tickets to designated performing arts performances as well as one half of the cost of membership at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. Through this program, Hallmark generated nearly $300,000 in earned income for eight organizations in 2000.

The person responsible for managing these programs is Patsy Evans, community development program administrator at Hallmark Cards, Inc. Patsy is the primary contact person at Hallmark for GIA activities. We look forward to opportunities to stay in touch with her and exchange information on a regular basis.

Ed Jones is vice president, J. P. Morgan Chase.