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Planning for the Future

Pat and Sandy Corpora Among Growing Number of Individuals Making Legacy Gifts to Help Support ArtsQuest

By Merry Sue Baum

After decades of enjoying Musikfest, the free concerts at Levitt Pavilion and the visual arts programming at the Banana Factory, Pat and Sandy Corpora of Bethlehem are paying it forward. If you’re committed to something that you enjoy during your lifetime, they say, then you have a responsibility to help sustain it for future generations.

Fans of ArtsQuest since the mid- ‘80s, the couple recently decided to include the nonprofit in their planned giving by supporting the ArtsQuest Foundation. And, in doing so, are they are aiding the long-term sustainability of an arts and cultural organization that has offered more than 15,000 free concerts and art programs for the community over the past 34 years.

“The cultural environment that ArtsQuest has created in Bethlehem means so much to us that we want to leave the gift of a legacy,” Sandy says.

The Coporas’ relationship with ArtsQuest goes back to the first Musikfest, when a new community festival sprang up to help elevate the spirit of a city that was struggling with major layoffs at its primary employer, Bethlehem Steel. Thrilled that there was a wonderful music festival “right in their own backyard,” they went almost every evening and even took vacation time to go. The couple continued with support of Christkindlmarkt in the 1990s, and when the Banana Factory was built in 1998, Sandy became involved there.

A painter, she believes it’s important to have a high-quality visual arts facility with classes and workshops available for all ages. Each year, the Banana Factory presents more than 350 art classes and workshops, while also offering educational programs like its flagship B-Smart after-school enrichment program, which focuses on reaching underserved children in the city.

“Music and art enhance the skills that children use in other areas of their lives,” Sandy says. “It’s a very important part of learning.”

For the Corporas, giving back to an organization that has given so much to them and countless others over the years is the least they can do. The couple are longtime members.

“When you hear United Way, you immediately think ‘nonprofit,’” Sandy says. “Your heart goes out when you hear about starving children. But when you think about a music or art venue you may not look at it the same way. The reality, however, is those things are so important to quality of life, especially for children.”

Pat says that since so many of ArtsQuest’s activities and classes are free, it makes it easy for people who otherwise could not afford it to attend.

“When you see the crowd on the Levitt Pavilion lawn for the free concerts, it says a lot,” he says. “Many of those people would not get to hear that high-quality music if it wasn’t free and so close to home.”

There are several ways to make a legacy gift to help support ArtsQuest, the ArtsQuest Foundation and our community. For more information, please visit http://artsquestfoundation.planmylegacy.org today.