The Harvey B. Gantt Center nearly tripled its membership in the last year to exceed its goal of signing up 1,974 members. The center’s success earned it a $100,000 challenge grant from Duke Energy.
“This challenge grant was designed to create excitement for African-American art and to fuel membership growth and community awareness of the Gantt Center,” said Betsy Conway, Community Affairs Manager, Duke Energy. “Thousands of people have been touched by the Gantt Center, and we hope this grant will allow for many more to have the same experience.”
Gantt Center president and CEO David Taylor credit the grant as a strong incentive for the individuals to rally around the Gantt. He set the 1,974 goal last year as part of the center’s yearlong 40th anniversary celebration. When Taylor announced the membership challenge, the Gantt Center had only 700 members. Today membership is nearly 2,000, he said.
“The effort of the staff was really amazing,” Taylor said. “The ambiance of the 40th anniversary was the right time to drive it. It created the atmosphere of celebrating the success of the center. The challenge grant was a great focus. It kept the community rallying around to support the Gantt Center.”
Taylor said the money will be used to boost programing, especially educational, at the Gantt Center. Taylor and his staff aren’t resting on their success. He hopes the membership will continue, and the center can reach 2,500 members.