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02/07/2012

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Jim Jewell

If Intiman is using the $1 million to produce this summer festival and not to reduce debt, but, as reported, using all revenues from the summer festival to reduce debt, is this a 1 year plan? What funds will go to produce subsequent seasons?

Paul Mullin

Thanks, Jim. Great question. You know so much more than most of us theatre artists about the back office and always know the most insightful questions to ask.

So I appeal to anyone reading here who might have some answers to these questions.

Yes, we are very excited that Intiman will persevere, but given its pretty lousy track record of transparency, it's sort of incumbent upon Andrew and the board to clear up some of these concerns. You asked the community to bail you out, your burden to communicate with us is higher than most arts organizations.

shane

Tickets will obviously be $1,000 each.

Paul Mullin

Thanks, Shane.

This confirms my long-standing but heretofore vague suspicion that attending an Intiman performance has a lot in common with going to a Mitt Romney fund-raising dinner.

But seriously? Folks? Anyone? How 'bout the artists whom I so admire that are jumping on to this ship? Do you have any strong feelings about what's happening down in the engine room?

Paul Mullin

Bueller?

Amy

I think a lot of folks are wondering the same thing. What about future sustainability? Shane's comment highlights what I've been thinking - how far can they really go with the revenues from this mini season, when they are still so deeply in debt?

Paul Mullin

Reposting with Marcie's permission from a comment on my Face Book link to here:

Marcie Sillman: Paul, Andrew Russell told me this vote on Monday was a go-ahead beyond this summer festival. He's already putting together plans for next year. That said, my understanding is they won't produce anything without funds to pay the entire costs up front. that's true for what happens beyond this year. Board President Terry Jones said pretty much the same thing. They are, perhaps, naive about what will happen financially, but I believe they were sincere that this was their plan.
17 hours ago

Scot Augustson

Hmm. I think the pay-as-you-go model is a fantastic way for small lean 'n' mean arts groups to work. If you don't have the cash on hand, the project waits until you've raised it. (And if you do it right the fund raising becomes part of the PR and the old community building thing.)
But, can it work on a bigger scale? When you've got utility bills to pay every month and a staff and union commitments?
If nothing else, it's a fascinating experiment.

Jim Jewell

Scott, I agree about a pay-as-you-go model in principal. But, what I want to hear is whether we are going to go through the same thing next year - Intiman asks for a million, uses it to pay for production, and then uses revenues to pay down debt.

Can this be a long-term solution if ticket revenue isn't contributing to future productions? If this summer produces less than $1 million in ticket revenue, is there any chance they could raise $1 million again? Should they even try?

I just want some transparency. They've played at and pretended to transparency, but it has actually been a fairly insular and opaque process.

But, really, given how little traction this question has gained in the last two days as I have asked it repeatedly, I don't really expect an answer. At least not from anyone on the inside of the process.

Scot Augustson

Jim, I've certainly never encountered a pay-as-you-go model where the org had a space. Also, sitting on debt is the opposite of this.
Have they dispatched past debt? Or is that still hanging around their neck? How much responsibility do they have on the building? Is it still a union house as far as tech goes?
Oh, see? We're back to those questions you're not getting an answer to!

Jim Jewell

Yep. I have gotten a few. They are still under union contracts. They are going forward responsible for 25% of the building in terms of days leased. The debt has not been dispatched at all - I don't think anyone outside of Intiman knows how much it is, and they may not even have the full answer internally. I have heard Seattle Center plans to forgive some or all back debt,

So, they are using public money and being forgiven public debt, but they aren't being fully transparent with the public. I really wish artists and arts org could hold themselves to a higher standard than this.

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