Is local Sioux Falls arts funding in the toilet?

I have had an idea for awhile that a percentage of the Entertainment tax (3rd penny) should be put towards local arts projects and local artists. Community theatre would be a perfect recipient of these monies;

After 15 seasons, the Sioux Empire Community Theatre is making a plea for donations to stay afloat.

“The reality is, community theatre can no longer survive on ticket sales alone,” board president Kimberly Jacobson and producing artistic director Patrick Pope wrote in a post on Facebook.

Rumor has it that SECT even asked the city to write-off rental debt last year. Not sure if that is true, but if it is that’s not good.

Right now the 3rd penny has been used for building upgrades to the Pavilion after the bonds were paid off. SMG has asked to get some that money also to use towards the Orpheum and Canaries Stadium. I have often argued that since the 3rd penny brings in around $6.5 million a year, they could easily split off $1 million of it to go towards local arts organizations and projects. Besides, it is a local tax we pay, shouldn’t it go towards local projects?

The Pavilion has been in turmoil for a long time, and the multiple terminations at the end of 2017 shows there is a major restructuring going on at the institution. The Sioux Falls Arts Council is also seeing some major changes. This would be a perfect time for the new mayor and city council to take a hard look at how this money is being spent. It’s obvious the money is there, it just needs to be spread out better. The board members of the Pavilion need to be reigned in and shown there are other artistic opportunities in this city that contribute to a more diverse economic impact. Diversifying this funding would help the community as a whole.

You have to realize not everyone is into going to a concert at the Denty or a musical at the Pavilion. People want local artistic options also, let’s give it to them by spending the LOCAL tax on LOCAL arts.



1 comment so far ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 02.19.18 at 5:41 pm

It is sad that the city doesn’t promote and support local starving artists. Brookings has a good arts and crafts fair. I’ve found good pieces there. There’s something minor here downtown in the summer. I go there for street food and to sign petitions.

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