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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UApresents takes massive cuts from state budget

    The performing arts program, UApresents, is going to have to get creative as the current financial situation sets the stage for more cuts in funding.

    As President Shelton announced in his campus-wide email, three-quarters of their budget will be cut for the upcoming season.ÿ

    However, that number represents a cut in the state funding for the program, and not a 75 percent decrease in its total funds.

    “”Right now the state funding counts for 20 percent of our budget, and next year all of it’s just going to count for 10 percent of our overall budget,”” said Mario DiVetta, UApresents publicity manager.

    “”The rest of the operating budget comes from ticket sales; the majority is from tickets sales and then also donations and community support,”” he said.

    That community involvement will be crucial as the organization plans their upcoming events. “”The executive director will beÿgetting feedback from staff members or other people on the campus about the upcoming season’s program,”” said DiVetta.

    Six different performances will take place in Centennial Hall this month alone, ranging from the family-oriented musical “”The Ant & the Elephant,”” to the Munich Symphony Orchestra, to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The variety keeps students involved and interested.ÿ

    “”We have a 2,500 seat hall so it’s a big hall to fill nightly, but we get a large percentage of students that come to the show, usually close to 300 or 400 seats,”” said DiVetta.

    Each of those seats is going to count, considering the pending budget cut.

    “”We’re probably going to have a slightly reduced season next year. We don’t know specifically what that means yet but there will just be fewer events on the season,”” said DiVetta.

    The program ensures that it secures performances in the core genres of classical, jazz, dance and world; these will still be included, no matter how much needs to be scaled back.ÿ

    “”We always make sure we find those first and we make sure we have three or four events in each of those categories every single year,”” said DiVetta.

    While big-name events are always a draw, the shows receive support across all categories; DiVetta said that UApresents is hopeful about continuing to bring the arts to campus.

    “”We do campus collaborations constantly,”” said DiVetta, “”and we work closely with the College of Fine Arts.””

    One of the major shows this month will be the UA Dance Ensemble’s Premium Blend showcase, with a total of six performances. Ticket sales for the event will take place both through the College of Fine Arts box office and through UApresents.

    “”Last year was the first year that UApresents and the School of Dance collaborated this way,”” said Peggy Collins, College of Fine Arts box office manager, “”and it went really well.””ÿ

    “”We actually have some ideas for next season as well, so we’re still going to do that,”” DiVetta said referring to the campus collaboration.

    “”Every single event will have a potential tie-in with a department at the university, and we always look and strive to make that tie possible,”” he said.ÿ

    However, since the ties will no longer be as close financially, the program will have to look more intently toward outside sources for support.

    “”We’re hoping that the community will step up to the plate and make sure this program stays,”” said DiVetta.ÿ

    While UApresents may have to put their creative power to the test in the coming months, the show will go on.

    “”We’re starting some grassroots campaigns that hopefully will kick off soon,”” DiVetta said.

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