Arts Quincy (The Quincy Society of Fine Arts) was founded in 1947 as America’s First Community Arts Council. For over 70 years, Arts Quincy has been committed to increasing fine arts access to every resident in Adams County, IL and the surrounding area.
The organization promotes and supports music, dance, visual arts, theater, literacy, history and humanities programs year-round.
In 2016, the storied organization hired a new Executive Director, Laura Sievert. Sievert reached out to the local Better Business Bureau as she sought a way to let donors and supporters know that the nonprofit was committed to the highest levels of ethics and sounds stewardship of their donations.
“Today’s donors are very savvy and want to make sure that every single dollar they contribute to a local nonprofit is making the biggest impact that it can. Having a Better Business Bureau certification lets our donors know at a glance that our ethical standards in both governance and fiscal accountability have been independently verified and that they can be confident that their contribution will be making a difference and expanding arts access right here where they live,” explains Sievert.
In addition to being a marketing and advocacy arm for 55 area nonprofits in arts and education, Arts Quincy is very active in bringing arts programming to local schools. Over 7500 students at 17 public and parochial schools throughout Adams County will have an unforgettable arts experience in the 2017/2018 school year thanks to the Arts Quincy Instant Arts Classroom Funds program.
“Our overall audited fiscal statements show that almost 85 cents of every dollar our donors invest in our agency goes right back out to programs. Part of the way we maintain this level of efficacy is to negotiate with vendors to lower costs. In fact, our children’s program this year has shrunk average expenditures per child served to under $3! This figure includes supplies or transportation for their arts experience, and is something we work very hard to keep as low as possible so that we can keep serving more students,” says Sievert.
Arts Quincy also awards grants called “Arts Dollars” which support local arts events and are focused on expanding reach to underserved parts of our community including veterans, low-income, elderly, at-risk youth, minority communities and more. The nonprofit also hosts annual awards named for the society’s founder, George M. Irwin, which recognize businesses, organizations and individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to the fine arts.
Beyond the nonprofit fine arts programs, Sievert believes it’s crucial to work with professional organizations like the BBB to demonstrate that Arts Quincy is committed to the highest standards in nonprofit practices. Not only did Arts Quincy become a BBB Accredited nonprofit in 2017 by meeting the 20 Better Business Bureau Standards for Charity Accountability, but the organization was also selected for a 2017 BBB TORCH Award.
“The Better Business Bureau certification and TORCH Award are such an asset to an organization like Arts Quincy,” Sievert explains. “Donors can be assured that they’ve picked an organization to support that is going to be transparent and held accountable for where donations are going. The BBB is a name people know and trust, and they have combed our financial statements, dissected our structure and governance procedures and have independently certified that we’re doing the right things with the investments of our donors.”
“Arts Quincy has been a pillar of Quincy since 1947, and continues to be recognized for supporting quality arts programming that contributes to the culture and economy of our area,” said Sievert. “We are so appreciative to the BBB for awarding us the 2017 TORCH Award, and will continue to strive to expand arts access while maintaining the highest standards in ethical fiscal and organizational accountability.”
Arts Quincy, 300 Civic Center Plaza, Quincy, IL 62301
President: Laura Sievert
Our vision is to support and market the ever growing arts organizations in Adams County, to strengthen arts education, and to encourage the Tri-State Region – Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri – to enable all its citizens’ access to all arts disciplines, through the help of Arts Quincy.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. Arts Quincy is a winner of the BBB Quincy 2017 TORCH Awards.