Art Feeds receives $50K donation


Joshua Boley/The Chart

Art Feeds, a local non profit organization that helps children affected by Joplin’s May 2011 tornado through art therapy, recently cashed a $50,000 check from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Cuban was fined by the NBA and, as is his custom, matched the amount of his fine with a donation to a random charity. Thanks to timely tweeting, Art Feeds was selected to receive the donation.

Funny how art can turn disaster into something beautiful. It often does so in unexpected ways.

Such is the case with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who decided to donate $50,000 to Joplin’s very own Art Feeds after receiving a fine for Twitter comments about league officiating.

“We got a tip from a friend of ours who lives in California who said ‘Hey, you need to be watching Mark Cuban’s TV show right now, he’s matching his fine and giving it to charity,’” said Marissa Fahrig, Art Feeds CFO.

Fahrig said that she didn’t believe the group would have much of a chance given such short notice.

“We had seven minutes left before the show ended because we’re in a different time zone,” Fahrig said. “We texted all our friends … We tweeted for seven minutes before the show was over.”

To Fahrig’s surprise, Art Feeds was announced as the winning organization the next day.

“It was really awesome because funding is obviously a big struggle for us, as it is with every non-profit organization,” Fahrig said.

“To be given a big chunk like that … We didn’t have to spend months writing grants or things like that. It was really amazing.

“It just felt so good for someone to be like ‘Yeah, you guys are worth this.’”

Art Feeds currently reaches 2,000 children each week. According to Fahrig, this number represents approximately half of the population of children in Joplin.

 Each dollar the group receives allows them to provide for an additional child in the program.

This donation will provide the organization with a vastly broader reach in the Joplin community.

Art Feeds set a goal of $700,000 for funding and operations this year.

Cuban’s donation has allowed the group to hire additional staff and provide additional supplies for children involved with Art Feeds programs.

“It definitely got us excited,” Fahrig said.

“It’s so helpful to have those unrestricted funds that we can use however we need use them.

“It’s got us started off in the right direction and has us excited about more fundraising opportunities.”