AN S.O.S. FOR THE ARTS

With even the likes of the Cleveland Orchestra announcing salary cuts and other cutbacks to help cope with tough economic times, it’s no surprise that other organizations are feeling the pinch too. Beck Center for the Arts launched a viral fundraising campaign this morning (Tues. March 31) that included grave language: “If the Beck Center cannot raise funds from new sources, we are in danger of closing.”

c038/1238589010-einhouse.jpgBeck CEO Lucinda Einhouse says it’s for now-familiar reasons. “Big traditional sources of funding aren’t happening this year. Foundations and individuals that had made major gifts in the past are not able to, or are holding off. This organization doesn’t have a cushion to fall back on in tough times, and these are tough times. We need to raise $150,000 by the end of April.”

Beck’s budget is currently $2.3 million. The timing of their crisis is familiar because of their events calendar. Summer arts camp fees are not yet coming in, and neither are sales for a big summer musical, which the Beck counts on for an annual boost.

It’s a great sign that Beck isn’t cutting programs for the rest of the season to make up the money. That’s because what’s left in the theater season — a cult musical called Evil Dead in the Studio Theater, and the campy classic about the man-eating plant, Little Shop of Horrors, on the Main Stage — are both expected to add to the bottom line. And the Beck’s summer arts educational programming has always made money.

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