Focus on (Financing) the Arts

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

While Janesville may fit the bill as a small town, it's having little difficulty drawing the big names.

"JPAC - the Performing Arts Center - as an organization, brought Tony Bennett, and we're bringing Donny Osmond for a performance here," explains JPAC Executive Director, Laurel Canan.

Canan says, with ticket prices reaching as much as $150 for these stars, her primary clients' skies are a bit brighter. "We'll have some funds that we'll put towards our operations, to be able to continue to, you know, operate and run the Center and keep the rates affordable for our, our local user-groups."

Canan says JPAC serves as home for 13 user-groups, who rent the space to stage their performances at a reduced rate, thanks in part to the money large acts bring in. "We receive no city financial support, you know, we pretty much do our financial support privately, or with fundraising events such as this," Canan adds.

"We're hoping that Dane County and the state of Wisconsin understand that we're a regional resource, and contribute towards our support."
They are the words of Bob D'Angelo, President and CEO of Madison's Overture Center for the Arts.

D'Angelo says the city generously provides $1.6 million annually, but with a $200,000 shortfall projected for 2006, the Center will need more, as it seeks to establish a safety net. "We can fund the operation of the building, but we can't fund those reserves with the known resources that we have right now."

D' Angelo says, when the next phase of construction is complete, Overture will begin offering new spaces, such as the Isthmus Playhouse to local performance groups at a discounted rate, similar to the JPAC approach.

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