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Arts and Entertainment

Charlotte company Day Runner grants $100,000 to Gantt Center
Largest gift ever by black-owned firm
Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018 12:24 am
by Ashley Mahoney

Charlotteans are taking arts education funding into their own hands.

Day Runner Inc., a Charlotte-based delivery service, donated $100,000 to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, becoming the first black-owned company to contribute a financial amount of that size to the institution.

“It’s our responsibility as a business that earns in this community to reinvest in our community,” Day Runner founder and CEO Marvin Walker said. “Day Runner takes pride in giving back and we’re pleased to do so with the Harvey B. Gantt Center.”

Day Runner’s gift will go toward providing additional student access to the Gantt through filed trips and in-school workshops. It also benefits the institution’s annual holiday fundraiser Jazzy Holiday Gala.

“As we identify new ways to expand our impact on the community, support from the private sector is key,” Gantt President and CEO David Taylor said. “Day Runner’s contribution at such a high level further opens the door for us to make the arts accessible to children and families throughout Charlotte. At a time when the arts have lost funding on a federal level, we especially appreciate the commitment of local businesses that can help us to expand our outreach in a sustainable way.”

In October of last year, the Gantt announced its Vibrance Endowment Campaign, which began silently acquiring support in 2016 to push toward a $10 million goal. As of October 2017, it had secured over $6 million. As the federal government continues to push for funding cuts from organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant proponent of groups like the Arts & Science Council, which contributes to institutions like the Gantt.

Without such funding, it falls to the private sector and organizations like Day Runner to fill the void. Walker hopes other black-owned businesses in Charlotte will hear the call and respond.


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