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Is there more that can be done to save a major art institution?

Much to the reluctance of many, one of the oldest theatre companies here in Canada was forced to close down its operation and further disband last year. Other than how the board of directors have been managing the finances, the company has faced financial deficit over the past years that the deficit has culminated to such point that the company could no longer put on shows that have for years and years been the landmark in our regional theatrical scene.

Theatre companies thrive on its financial success; ticket sale is life to a company's operation. But this also means that if a theatre company is to survive, its productions need to cater to its audience. But what if this entertainment aspect of theatre hinders its artistic pursuit? Should there be a public funding to ensure a steady operation of a company so that it can remain intellectually stimulating? Some argued it is the fault of the government and of the general community to fail to recognize the company as a vital artistic institution within the city, and also the fault of the artistic community to produce something that the rest of the communities deem culturally essential.

Theatre is just an example; it has happened to various performance-based art ranging from orchestra to opera to ballet. Is there more that can be done?


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  • Sep 20 2013: I have to agree with the previous post that it starts with your youth, this is how you build a public. Until you have educated the people to have a finer sense of culture your efforts will not be as efficient.
    It should start with a group of committed individuals that are willing to work "for the love of the arts". Go to schools, offer a drama or thespian program as an extra curricular activity. Offer free plays, build your audience, create some fans. Approach the church groups and offer coaching for biblical teachings based on theatrical teachings and or choir lessons. Once the public sees an effort in a committed group, the movement usually takes momentum. Organize a dinner (it could be in a church hall or banquet hall) and a play(murder mysteries are usually fun) as a fundraiser kick off for a non-profit org that can responsibly administer the funding.

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