Gen Art, the national organization that supports emerging artists–including fashion designers–is in serious financial straits. In a guest post on the Huffington Post, cofounder Ian Gerard explained that the organization relied mainly on corporate donations, which have dried up. It’s are now looking to individuals to help out, and to that end Gen Art is holding a benefit party tomorrow night in New York.

It would be a blow to the local fashion industry if Gen Art were to fold. It’s been a major force on the scene, sponsoring the most popular runway show of Fashion Focus as well as well-attended events like Shop Chicago. Gen Art was also known for providing support and publicity to local designers with special openings and other events, although those activities have been noticeably curtailed in the last several months.

If support from us regular folks can’t prop up Gen Art, what will happen? Presumably the city will turn to more corporate sponsors, but the beauty of Gen Art was that it was devoted to helping artists–not just aligning with them for marketing purposes.