News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
26th November 2008

No bailout for the arts

posted in Art, Local Groups, Money Matters, Theater |

Last Sunday was an unusually theatrical day for me. First, I attended a production of Once Upon a Mattress at the Peacock Players in Nashua with two 12-year-olds who thoroughly enjoyed the performance. (I did too.) That evening, my husband and I attended opening night of Skylight at Lowell’s Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT). This is our second year as season ticket holders, which despite my initial concern regarding conflicting schedules, has turned out to be a wonderful investment in Date Night and the immediacy of live theatre. Both events that day included fund-raising pitches to the audience. In MRT’s case, Artistic Director Charles Towers spoke about how difficult financial times were at the theatre lately. With state funding cut 75% this season (from $100,000 to $25,000) and no government bailout on the horizon, the theatre must turn to the community for its continued existence. The reality is, those who value live theatre must support it. That means attending shows and contributing to the cause—especially during tough economic times. Unfortunately theatre, like other arts and non-profit groups that vitally enrich our community, will never be on the short list for bailouts—unless we do the bailing ourselves.

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