Broadway is just now rebounding from the effects of Sept. 11, but the citys non-profit cultural institutions, including many venues in Queens, are being hit on several sides:
People are tending to nest at home and going out less frequently; theres a drop in contributions from corporations and foundations; and in perhaps the hardest blow, the city has announced deep funding cuts for the arts.
In a study conducted over the last two months following Sept. 11, the Center for an Urban Future a New York City-based think tank founded in 1996 that reports on city issues analyzed the fiscal health of the arts and culture in New York.
The patient is alive but not fully kicking.
Here are some of the findings:
All of the 150 organizations surveyed have already seen or expect to experience substantial economic losses over the next three months, researchers said.
Most fund-raisers brought in fewer dollars than anticipated.
An estimated 2,000 scheduled school trips to arts organizations were canceled since Sept. 11.
The center warns that large-scale layoffs (at the arts venues) are coming.
Queens Theatre in the Park has already lost about $450,000 of its $2.5 million annual operating budget, Executive Director Jeff Rosenstock told the TimesLedger. But were determined to keep all our shows intact, he said.
Although all arts groups in the city are affected everyones taking a hit, Rosenstock said the QTP had an added problem simply from bad luck.
It happened to make its annual direct-mailing of 100,000 brochures the week of Sept. 11. A large chunk of the full-color, glossy brochures never reached subscribers and supporters, and while the mailing usually would generate some $200,000 in ticket sales, the figure was closer to $120,000 this year, Rosenstock said. The direct mailing, combined with publicity elsewhere, is our bread and butter for bringing in advance sales, he said.
No full-time employee at QTP has had to be laid off at least not yet but many part-time jobs have been eliminated and absorbed into full-time slots. Also, the performing artists have been asked to take a 10 percent pay cut. Most have agreed to it, Rosenstock said.
At the Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside, its gotten tight, said Kathy Giaimo, the administrative director. But the fiscal blows have been cushioned by a loan the theater had previously taken out against half of its city funding. Were not missing any payments on bills, she said.
Asked if any layoffs were predicted, Giaimo stressed the theater has only two full-time people herself and Director Angel Gil Orrios and two part-timers. We couldnt lay off anyone and still operate the theater, she said.
Wages have been frozen, but the four are not complaining. A lot of people have nothing after Sept. 11, Giaimo said.
The theaters operating expenses of about $30,000 a month are covered from government sources, foundation and other grants, and box office receipts, she said.
Officials of the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria expect a shortfall of $50,000 to $100,000 from its fall fund-raising, said the Center for an Urban Future report, mainly because many companies and individuals who had been large-scale donors have suffered their own financial losses because of Sept. 11.
The Museum of Modern Art, which plans to move temporarily to the Swingline building in Long Island City while it renovates its Manhattan headquarters, is fearful that it will have difficulty finding funds to complete the last leg of the project.
My sense is that fund-raising will be twice as hard as it was before, and we are all going to readjust our expectations, said Glenn Lowry, head of MoMA.
The report also cited several Queens institutions that responded to the Sept. 11 tragedy by doing what they always do offering respites from the burdens of modern life. Children museums in the city including the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona park all decided within one hour of the attacks to open for free on the weekend, the CUF reported, and the AMMI tailored some of its schedule to deal with the emotions and problems of the disaster, as did the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.
Bucking the overall trend, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, the Queens Zoo and the libraries in Queens have recorded a rise in attendance as people seeks them out for solace in the wake of the attacks, the report said.
Government funding is the shakiest right now, arts officials agreed. Mayor Giuliani has already announced that funding for the arts will be cut by 15 percent overall, but we dont know yet who will be cut by how much, said Stephen Malmberg, marketing and communications director for the Queens Museum of Art, which gets at least $1 million of its $2.8 million annual operating budget from the city.
Its a wait-and-see situation, he said.
Reach News Editor David Glenn by e-mail at glenn@Time
©2001 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.