LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — Two days after Governor Jim Justice announced his stay at home executive order in March, staff at Carnegie Hall were forced to cancel their Gala.
President of Carnegie Hall, Sara Crickenberger, said the Gala is one of the biggest fundraisers for the non-profit.
“And then Taste of our Town, or TOOT, our other biggest fundraiser in October, gathers 7,000 people downtown in Lewisburg,” Crickenberger said. “We were not able to do that. There’s no way to do that safely.”
While events were cancelled to protect community members and Carnegie Hall employees, their funds were running low. Which is when local artist Mimi deOlloqui-Turner stepped into the picture.
“She contacted me and said, ‘What would you think about trying to do a fundraiser for Carnegie Hall, I’ve got some things available?,'” Crickenberger said. “We said absolutely and did some exploration into how do we set this up. How do we do this all online? How do we make that happen?”
Now, Carnegie Hall is holding its very first online Art Auction. It works just like a regular auction where people can bid on the pieces they like.
Crickenberger said 50- percent of the proceeds will go to Carnegie Hall. The money they raise will help keep the lights on, keep the building functioning, and help pay salaries for the staff and facility manager.
“When she suggested it, it seemed like a great opportunity to try this, see how it goes, and if it works well then we can talk to some of the other artists that are also struggling or who don’t have the regular outlets where they used to sell and see if we could do more shows,” Crickenberger said.
The auction began on Oct. 23, 2020 and will run until Nov. 21, 2020. Check out the online auction here.