The Arts Forever Fund

Mission:  To financially sustain The Arts Council and its members to ensure that the arts in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County thrive in perpetuity

  • The Arts Forever Fund (The Fund) was organized and incorporated in 2008 for the sole purpose of supporting The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and our community’s arts and cultural organizations.

  • The Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) with a Board of Directors consisting of 15 diverse community leaders from the  financial, business, legal and arts sectors.

  •  The Fund currently holds cash assets of nearly $2 million with an additional $4,200,000 in pledges receivable through grants and planned gifts.

  • Ten Special and Named Funds exist including:

    • Twin City Stage Endowment

    • Frank and Susan Dickerson Fund for The Piedmont Opera

    • Piedmont Craftsmen Endowment Fund

    • Elsie Dinsmore Popkin Visual Art Fellowship Fund

    • Jamie Lawson Endowment Fund for Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance

    • James H. and Barbara C. Corrigan Fund

    • Medlin Endowment Fund

    • Cissna Family Fund

Special Funds can be created with a minimum investment of $25,000 and can benefit specific member arts organizations

  • Unrestricted gifts made to the Fund are recorded 50% as gifts to the General Purposes Fund and 50% to the Facilities Fund, which support Arts Council grants, operations, programming and maintenance or improvements to facilities, until total gifts to the Facilities Fund reach $2 million at which point all unrestricted gifts will be directed to the General Purposes Fund.

  • After a thorough selection process, Wells Fargo was chosen as the Endowment’s Investment Manager.


Deferred or Planned Giving Opportunities

Life Insurance

By giving an insurance policy already in force, you will receive a charitable deduction for the cash value of the policy. You may take out a new insurance policy on your life, or assign one already in force, naming The Arts Council Endowment Fund as the owner and beneficiary. The premiums will be tax deductible.

Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)

You may make a gift of cash or appreciated securities in trust and receive the income from that gift until your death, the death of your spouse, or another specified time when The Arts Endowment Fund receives the assets. You will receive a charitable deduction for the gift based on your age at the time the gift is put in trust; also the asset is removed from your estate and ownership will transfer, tax free, to The Arts Endowment Fund.

Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)

You may give a gift of cash or appreciated securities in trust and direct that the trust distribute to The Arts Endowment Fund a specified annual gift over a specified number of years. When that time has elapsed, the trust is terminated and the remaining assets are distributed to the donor’s beneficiaries.

Retention of Life Interest Gift

You may give a personal residence or farm and retain lifetime use of the property. You will receive an immediate charitable deduction for the gift based on your age. The property is removed from your estate for tax purposes. The donor is responsible for taxes, insurance and maintenance. At your death or the death of the surviving spouse, the gift becomes the property of The Arts Endowment Fund.

Joint Account

You may name The Arts Endowment Fund as a co-owner with right of survivorship of any savings account. Upon your death, that account becomes the property of The Arts Endowment Fund automatically and without probate.

A Bequest Through Your Will

You may name The Arts Endowment Fund in your will or in a codicil to your will for a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or as a final contingent beneficiary.

Charitable Provisions Now Permanent

When President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) on December 18, 2015, several provisions that will help charities and donors were made permanent.

Specifically the Charitable IRA Rollover is one of these provisions.  IRA owners ages 70 ½ and older can make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their accounts – up to $100,000 annually and owe no income tax on the distribution.    No charitable deduction is allowed for the gift, but the QCD can satisfy required minimum distributions, thereby saving taxes, even for donors who do not itemize their deductions.  QCDs must come directly to the charity from the IRA custodian, not from the IRA owner.  QCDs cannot be used to fund life-income gifts such as charitable remainder trusts or charitable gift annuities, but can be used to satisfy a donor’s outstanding charitable pledge.  Only public charities – not donor advised funds – can receive these Qualified Charitable Distributions.

An added benefit of exercising a QCD in lieu of receiving the funds as a required minimum distribution to the donor directly is the potential to lower the donor’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), and thereby preclude the donor from being subject to other taxes imposed on higher income households like the Medicare surtax.   Lowering AGI may also reduce the taxation of Social Security benefits and the amount of Medicare premiums.

*All gifts must meet the conditions set out in The Arts Endowment Fund’s “Gifts Acceptance Policies,” a copy of which is available upon request. This information is intended to provide general guidance and is not a substitute for professional counsel. Consult your tax or legal advisor for professional guidance.


For information on how to make a planned gift to The Arts Forever Fund, please contact The Arts Council 336-722-2585