Local non-profit arts organizations now have another tool in their belt.

Local non-profit arts organizations now have another tool in their belt.

The Supporting the Arts campaign launched its McPherson branch Wednesday. The campaign is communications-based and aims to rally support for arts organizations and their events.

Mike Katzenmeier is the campaign director, and is also part of Marketing Resources, the agency that developed and continues to direct the campaign.

“We're just really happy to be in McPherson and hopefully we can help the arts,” he said at the launch Wednesday. “You might think in a small town everyone knows who you are, but if you take people off the street and you ask them questions about one of the arts organizations, how many would know?

That's really what the campaign’s all about. It's just helping spread the word.”

A large majority of this communication is done through the campaign's website, www.SupportingTheArts.com. It offers information about arts organizations in Wichita, Lawrence, Hutchinson and now McPherson. The campaign is also discussing a launch in Lindsborg.

The McPherson page on the website gives information about the five organizations it already has been corresponding with: Central Christian College, McPherson Arts Alliance, McPherson College, McPherson Community Theatre, and the McPherson Opera House. Each organization's page includes basic information, a wish list and contact information. The campaign also is open to supporting new organizations.

Near the top of the Supporting the Arts website, recent headlines, programs and upcoming events are featured.

In this way, the website provides a one-stop location for McPherson arts information.

Shannon Brake of the McPherson Community Theater, said she hopes the McPherson Supporting the Arts will help reach a different audience, increase attendance and allow children to be exposed to the arts who normally wouldn't see them.

Donna Lehner of the McPherson Arts Alliance anticipates the campaign will increase awareness of local art events and galleries.

“It (the campaign) certainly is not going to hurt,” she said. “Anytime you make people aware you have something in the community, a certain percentage are going to be curious enough to say, 'I want to do that.' And that's what we're hoping for.”

The Trust Company of Kansas, headquartered in Wichita, is the campaign underwriter. Because of this, no city funds or tax dollars are used, and grants are not involved.

Rather than soliciting donations to a general fund, the campaign encourages locals to volunteer or donate directly to the arts organizations.

“The visual, performing and musical arts bring quality of life to the McPherson area and help to attract tourism, and recruit and retain McPherson jobs,” Martha Linsner, president of the Trust Company of Kansas, said in a press release. “Additionally, the arts help support the economy of the community.”

Mike Smith of the Trust Company who oversees the McPherson area, said the campaign will help McPherson in many ways.

“Funding has been cut for the arts, and there is a need,” he said. “I think it's a great illustration of how a corporation can underwrite something that can help a community and organizations in need.”

Contact Jenae Pauls at jpauls@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel