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A popular art program for kids in Winnipeg is facing uncertainty after going months without funding.

Art City, located in West Broadway, relies on a large lump sum donation of $86,000 each year to keep things running. Those funds have been delayed, forcing the organization to stop some of their outreach programming. It's the first time in 19 years the organization has been forced to take such measures.

The program also does outreach programming in 12 other sites across the city on a weekly basis. It's those 12 outreach programs that "have been put in jeopardy," according to leaders of the organization.

Josh Ruth is the managing director at Art City. He says when they told the children at one of their sites that they had to shut down, they were crushed. "There was a lot of expressions of disappointment. In particular, one child whose name is Sincere said 'well, say goodbye to your favourite place on earth.'"

However, Ruth says the people of Winnipeg are stepping up to help keep their work going.

"In really an act of desperation, we reached out with a crowdfunding campaign. Just thinking, you know, we really needed to do something, otherwise, the organization itself was looking to be in jeopardy. To our surprise, there's been an enormous outpouring of support from the community."

Ruth said many people in the West Broadway community, who do not have much when it comes to financial means, have really stepped up making sacrificial donations. "I mean, (there's been both) big and small (donations). But these are people who do not have a lot to give and they're making sacrifices in order to support the cause."

Ruth says that the response from the community "has been overwhelming and really shown us the level of buy-in and support there is in the community for Art City, and in turn for the kids and community we serve."

The crowdfunding campaign has a goal of $50,000 and has nearly reached $30,000 as of noon on Monday, October 23.

"One of the things that's been really cool," Ruth says, "is to see owners of local businesses stepping up and putting on their own sort of mini-fundraisers on our behalf."

He said Clementine Restaurant donated proceeds from their eggs benedict during Sunday's brunch, as well as the Tallest Poppy offering donations. A number of other businesses are also donating tips and proceeds from sales.

Ruth says that while the financial situation has caused stress and anxiety for the children and staff, the community response has left everyone encouraged. To put it simply, Ruth says, "it feels really, really good."

You can donate to Art City's campaign here.