We are sorry to inform our constituents that Judith Diane Hamilton, our longtime Assistant Director, passed away on Tuesday, September 10 at Hubbard Hospice House in South Charleston. Judith faithfully served Fund for the Arts since its inception. She was truly a pleasure to work with, and we shall miss her.

Jill McIntyre
President

I have known and enjoyed working with Judith Hamilton since shortly after moving to Charleston in 1987. Initially I worked with her as a Board member of Fund for the Arts and then even more closely since 1998 as its Executive Director. In all that time, she demonstrated so many terrific qualities. She had endless patience and good humor. Her most outstanding feature was her unfailing kindness to everyone with whom she came in contact. I never knew her to lose her temper in all the many years we occupied the same small office. She never let a knotty problem get the better of her but would just keep chipping away at it until a solution appeared. For all her gentle kindness, she also displayed a wicked sense of humor! She was a great animal lover and supported the World Wildlife Fund, the Audubon Society and other similar institutions. She was passionate about the arts and also about West Virginia and her community. In her earlier years she was a tireless worker at the Wine and all that Jazz Festival, and many of our guests will remember her in the Pepsi truck, dispensing sodas, water and ice. She will leave a large hole in the fabric of the arts community. She was the first employee of the Fund when it opened in 1981 and remained there until her death.

Margaret Lieberman
Executive Director

There are some people that you meet in life that prefer to stay in the shadows as they diligently work for the greater good of something much larger than themselves. For the first several years after I joined the Fund for the Arts board, I had often heard of the mysterious “Judith” and all of the work that she was doing for the Fund. It was obvious to me that she was a huge asset for our organization, and had been for many, many years. Yet, I never saw her seek recognition or brag about the multitude of good deeds that she did on a regular basis for the Fund. When I finally met Judith in person, it was apparent that she was truly a kind soul that genuinely cared about our organization, our donors and our community. Judith proved through her devotion, her caring, her persistence and her unwavering support of Fund for the Arts and our arts community that she was a bright light in our world that the shadows couldn’t hide.

Brett Staples
Past President

I have known and worked with Judith since the inception of the Fund for the Arts. She was a tireless worker and was always helpful and congenial. Her death is a great loss to the Fund. I will miss my association with her.

Joe Beeson
Past President

I have known Judith for over thirty-five years. I met her through sharing time on the Kanawha Valley Soccer League board of directors, where she played a key role in organizing the Sternwheel Regatta Soccer Tournament for several years. We also shared many years raising money for local arts groups through Fund for the Arts. Judith was a kind, loving, selfless, wonderful soul who was willing to help wherever needed. We had many telephone chats in which we would discuss many more topics than just who might be willing to donate some money and how much. I shall miss her.

Horace Emery
Past President

My interaction with Judith, over the years, was through the Campaign as we jointly strove to raise as much as we could from as many accounts as we could. Judith always let me know when funds had been received so I could write the donor a personal note of thanks. I always felt we made a great Team, and she was a joy to work with as we shared a great sense of humor. I will miss her deep knowledge of the Fund and her cheerful outlook.

Richard Sinclair
Board Member

Contact artsfundwv@frontier.com should you wish to make a contribution to Judith’s family or to Fund for the Arts in her memory.

Welcome to Fund for the Arts’ website. We are a service organization providing financial and operational support to 12 member arts organizations through our Festivals, fundraising campaign and the tireless efforts of our Board members.

We believe that artists and arts organizations enhance the beauty and cultural richness of our community, and help drive its economic growth and prosperity.

Founded in 1981 as a result of the joint efforts of the Kanawha Arts Alliance and the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, Fund for the Arts raises funds from business, foundations, and government, as well as individuals, to provide operating expenses for our 12 member arts groups. Our services and funding keep our arts organizations healthy today, but also look to the future, as several of our member organizations, such as Children’s Theater of Charleston, River City Youth Ballet Ensemble and West Virginia Youth Symphony, showcase the artistic talents of our community’s children and young adults.

Fund for the Arts also secures financial support for our local member arts groups through its signature events like Wine & All That Jazz and Rhythm & Brews Festivals. Additionally, we kick off the fall season with Fund for the Arts’ Annual Taste Escape, which provides participants with an evening of gourmet food, wine, arts and entertainment in a wonderful evening backdrop of downtown Charleston, all for the benefit of our local member arts groups. These Fund for the Arts events have become a staple of the City of Charleston and the Kanawha Valley and we encourage you to take part in all of them!

Fund for the Arts’ contribution to the vitality of the local arts goes beyond fundraising. We work with each member organization to troubleshoot problems and promote stability and continuity. The arts organizations and individual artists we serve may not always have the staff, resources or technology to keep up with the ever-increasing administrative and fundraising tasks required of today’s non-profits, and that’s where the Fund for the Arts steps in to help. Through Fund for the Arts’ efforts, we hope to ensure a creative and prosperous arts community, today and tomorrow.

We encourage you to visit our website to:

Please feel free to use the “Contact Us” button if you have any questions about our organization or need any further information. Also, check us out on Facebook!

And please, don’t forget to include the Fund for the Arts in your Will or estate plan. Your legacy can help our community stay creative and strong. Thank you.

Jill McIntyre
Fund for the Arts President