ART CONSPIRACY TO CEASE OPERATIONS AFTER NEARLY TWENTY YEARS
Final donation of $6,000 made to Foundation 45
DALLAS—Sep. 25, 2023—The board of directors of Art Conspiracy (ArtCon), the Dallas-based nonprofit organization in which artists and musicians “conspire” to raise funds and activate awareness for regional creative programs and causes, has made the decision to cease operations. Over its nearly 20-year history, the all-volunteer organization was able to raise half a million dollars for its beneficiaries, primarily through an annual event averaging 2,000 attendees that featured the work of local artists sold in a dynamic live auction, punctuated with performances by local musicians. As part of the closing process, ArtCon has made a final donation of $6,000 to Foundation 45, the beneficiary announced for ArtCon 15, which was to have taken place in fall 2019 but postponed due to staffing issues. When combined with the $10,000 previously raised at the seed event in 2019, the total contribution to Foundation 45 is $16,000. ArtCon would like to thank the Dallas arts community—particularly all the artists and volunteers who, over the years, have been a critical component to its success.
“Before the pandemic, ArtCon was facing mounting pressures in the search for event spaces and navigating growing costs that were hindering our model, which was already challenged by its all-volunteer structure and role as a ‘pass-through’ organization that donates all the funds it raises,” said Geoff Barry, president of the board. “COVID-19 effectively ended our ability to evolve around these limitations, stopping us from not only putting on our signature annual fundraisers, but also from building a steady pipeline of volunteer leadership to execute them. It saddens us to end this important work, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the years—not just the money raised, but also the many connections made and collaborations that have been born from them, which live on. We know we’ve made a positive and lasting difference in North Texas, among our community of artists, our audience, and our beneficiaries.”
Added Executive Director and CEO of Foundation 45 Lauren O’Connor, “While we’re disappointed ArtCon 15 couldn’t ultimately happen, we certainly understand the devastating effects of the pandemic and the effects it’s had on so many nonprofit organizations. We are grateful for ArtCon’s contributions, which will provide valuable mental healthcare services to the Dallas arts community.”
ArtCon encourages everyone to continue supporting Foundation 45 as it prepares its next fundraising event, “Art of Guitar” on Saturday October 21st 2023. The event will be a live auction of over 45 local artist-decorated guitars, with all funds raised directly supporting their mission of providing free top tier mental health support services to the community. Please visit 2023 Art of the Guitar to learn more about the event and purchase tickets.
The iOS app Art Con remains available in the Apple Store for anyone wishing to seek out and connect with the artists and musicians who have participated in ArtCon over its history.
About Art Conspiracy
ArtCon was founded in 2005 by photographer Sarah Jane Semrad and musician Jason Roberts. The 2005 Art Conspiracy event, the first of its kind, was held at the historic Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested shortly after President John F. Kennedy was shot. JFK-oriented conspiracy theories are intertwined in modern Dallas life. The name, Art Conspiracy, acknowledges this and also highlights the positive impact conspiracies can bring about. The proceeds of the first ArtCon event totaled over $10,000 and were donated to The Paul Simon-founded Children’s Health Fund, specifically earmarked for kids displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Later beneficiaries included Volunteers of America’s Resolana program; 29 Pieces’ MasterPeace program; Musical Angels; W.T. White High School; Girls Rock Dallas; My Possibilities; Anita M. Martinez Ballet Folklorico; MAP – Make Art with Purpose; Music is our Weapon; Seek the Peace; and Cry Havoc Theater Company.
Art Conspiracy Board – firstname.lastname@example.org