I think the ‘then’ CEO of Avera bought the piece. I can’t even remember the name of the piece.
Entries Tagged 'Washington Pavilion' ↓
Well according to the Fargo City Commission, that may be the case. They are considering re-purposing their civic center into a performance facility, and one of the commissioner’s had this to say about the Pavilion (DOC, Page 4: web150105)
After looking at the Pavilion’s finances from 2014 compared to 2013 (Item A), I think it is time the city looks at bringing in a new management company.
Finance Doc (WPMI-OF)
While the Pavilion brought in over $800K more in 2014 at the end of the day, they had $63K less leftover then in 2013.
So what sticks out?
• Admission and ticket sales were up $757K from last year, which is a good thing, so where were the falters?
• Salary and benefits are almost $3.7 million dollars of their almost $7.5 million dollar budget (half of their entire budget) while programming is only $1.6 million of their budget.
• No major increase in the marketing budget.
• Memberships were down from 2013 (this is after they eliminated individual memberships and now charge to enter the VAC)
• Since it is a city owned building, all maintenance and upgrades to the building come from our CIP (2nd Penny) and not the Pavilion’s budget.
While the Pavilion claims they are an asset to our community, it seems they spend very little on actual programming and a lot on their employees, many from management, including the Operations manager and I believe the Finance Director have been there since day one.
It’s time the city explores a new management company to revamp the Pavilion, and truly make it a place for everyone (as was promised from the beginning).
It breaks my heart sometimes that a building I supported, worked at, donated to and exhibited in has lost it’s way due to poor management, and the finances are just the tip of the iceberg.
Roofers are going to keep themselves busy at the Pavilion.
Over the past few days I started thinking about why ‘engineering services’ alone would cost $78,000 for roof replacement. These are JUST plans, not actual replacement costs. Remember the window replacement bid fiasco? Or how the tuck and point job was getting messed up by a local contractor and an out of state contractor had to be brought in to fix the mess?
Then I started to get even more curious when Councilor Staggers made the comments about ‘the several fixes’ the Pavilion roof has gotten over the years, and I personally recall when I worked there about the leaky roof.
Make no mistake, the roof probably needs to be replaced, and when we are spending $78,000 just for engineering, it must be pretty serious.
I talked to a local contractor this morning and asked what their thoughts are on a project like this. They said that the leaky roof doesn’t surprise them, because as they understand, they had to join a new roof with the old roof on all 4 sides (remember the only part that was gutted was the center for the Great Hall). He said you would automatically have issues right off the bat, joining an almost 100 year old roof with a new roof, also take into account, it’s a flat roof, so during the winter/spring when thawing and freezing occurs, ice dams most likely happen at the openings of the downspouts.
He said the project will probably get even more expensive if they replace the balustrades (those buldgy pedestal thingies on the edge of the roof) with fiberglass replicas. I guess the terracota balustrade should be replaced because they could crack and break due to their age and fall on people below.
That wouldn’t be good.
Make no mistake, the Pavilion roof replacement is probably long overdue, but like the siding on the Events Center, it should have been done right to begin with. Can’t wait for the maintenance bids to start coming in on the Events Center in the next 10-14 years. Grab your ankles folks, this is gonna hurt.
CORRECTION: Remember the cinedome that needed a new roof last year? Well the 15 year old remodel now needs a new roof at ENGINEERING COSTS OF $78K. (Can’t wait to see the final costs to come in on the roof) While this is probably true, we need to take this into account, this is the kind of maintenance we will need for the Events Center over the next 20 years. Why is it that city facilities need so much maintenance?
I also see the city needs to purchase ‘dumb bodies’, I thought we were already paying a hefty price for them
Nan Baker, the on again, off again, on again, off again arts director
A brief history for those who may not be aware of the history of this organization, once called the Sioux Empire Arts Council.
It actually ran very well out of the Horse Barn for several years, it was an alternative for visual artists, musicians, poets and actors who couldn’t or wouldn’t participate in activities at the Washington Pavilion.
So when the Pavilion was planning to move the offices of other local arts orgs to their building, they conveniently placed the (former) VAC director, David Merhib, on the board of the SE Arts Council, ironically a Brookings resident, who now runs the Brookings Chamber of Commerce.
It was a planned power grab. Quickly Mr. Merhib convinced the closure of the Horse Barn (a storage shed now) and moved the offices to the Pavilion, with a name change, Sioux Falls Arts Council, then Nan Baker steps in (Nan is part of the Baker family, First National Bank). She is well connected with the monied elite in Sioux Falls, to say the least.
Nan ran the organization to begin with, than found herself suffocating in the big purple building, so she moved it out of the Pavilion, then she left, then she came back, now she is leaving again.
Yeah, like anything involving the Pavilion and its board members, complicated and baffling (and probably a touch of corruption).
Sandra Pay explains the recent exit in this letter to the editor. Sandra has served on both the Sioux Falls Arts Council Board and the Executive Board of the Pavilion.
Interesting ‘cover’ story Sandra wrote. There is something bigger going on here, that we are not being told and to be honest with you, I don’t have the slightest clue, but if I had a wild guess, the Pavilion is involved again, and it may be why Nan has exited, again. She has expressed in the past that she wasn’t very happy about the relationship between the Pavilion and the Arts Council. Probably because the VAC was ran by someone who knows nothing about art (he damaged one of the Rockwell’s while unpacking the exhibit) and an arts center ran by a reservist military commander (Jon Loos, Operations Manager at the Pavilion). A recipe for frustration from the arts community in Sioux Falls, to say the least.
Now let’s read Nan’s farewell on the Facebooks;
It has been rewarding to see the Arts Council’s transformation. In 2015 they will be looking for a FULL TIME director. Get your resume or cv dusted off and apply. Great organization. I’ll be spending more time with my fellowship, family and friends. Stay in touch. Get out and enjoy Frist Friday! Happy Holidays!
Maybe I should also apply for this job, in case my bid for the county commission falls through? I actually probably have a better chance at the county job
I have actually put a plea out there on my blog to have a DaCola interview with the new Pavilion VAC director, Kara Dirkson, with no response. And an artist friend of mine also encouraged her to talk with me. I won’t even print her response to him, because it was so ridiculous, I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone. But let’s just say, the Pavilion is on information lockdown when it comes to the arts center.
Not sure if the Pavilion is trying to weasel their way back into the Sioux Falls Arts Council, but I think we all better keep a watchful eye.
Kara would like to get to know you, local artists and art ‘appreciators’. She is hosting a ‘meet-and-greet’ session open to the public on Tuesdays from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Visual Arts Center’s Gallery A. She would love the community’s input to help make the VAC the best it can be.
I hope they won’t be charging an admission to speak with the director . . . and be careful what you say, management is probably requiring her to wear a wire
September 8th, 2014 — Washington Pavilion
Maybe you can get a friendship bracelet with your membership.
When I first found out the Pavilion wasn’t offering individual memberships anymore, I felt it was discrimination, but some wise person in the marketing department that formed a focus group decided to eliminate them. My first thought was because maybe there wasn’t a lot of individual memberships, not the case at all;
He said single memberships accounted for about 10 percent of the Pavilion’s 3,300 memberships.
Which, if you like to do simple math comes to 330 memberships or $13,200 in revenue. Something I would hardly bat an eye at. I’m sure most of these memberships were purchased by single elderly people.
I was glad to see this though;
The change doesn’t apply to season ticket sales. People still can buy a season ticket for one.
So if it doesn’t change buying an individual ticket for shows, why change the membership to dual memberships only? Because like charging admission to the VAC, the Pavilion is seeing dollar signs by squeezing an extra $20 out of those single people and disguising it as encouraging them to bring friends.
The city council and mayor really need to end the contract with the WP Management and hire a new company, that #1 is interested in making money #2 Customer service and most of all #3 transparency and equality.
They have had 14 years to get their poop in a group, and all we see is one dumb idea after another. A publicly subsidized arts center that charges to see poorly hung art and now discriminates against single people.
September 2nd, 2014 — Washington Pavilion
A South DaCola foot soldier told me that when they went to renew their individual membership they learned that they no longer offer an individual membership. They have to purchase a “dual membership” or two memberships. Apparently they no longer welcome “singles”.
This is discriminatory for the following reasons:
This person is a single individual.
This person often enjoy going to events as a single person.
They do not need to be part of a “couple”
This “new membership policy” is discriminatory against single persons.
This policy could be a form of “financial elder abuse” by forcing seniors, widows and widowers to purchase two membership where only one is needed.
It is also discriminatory against students and young persons who may not be able to afford two memberships.
The Washington Pavilion already has a reputation of being elitist and now they don’t want singles? Does this enhance their reputation as an inclusive facility?
I also find it strange that a dual membership costs $60 ($30 each) but a pals (5 people) membership costs $100 ($20 each). So why not just charge $30-40 for an individual membership? Why eliminate it?
I have often felt that this city is very anti-single people, young and old, I just never seen such blatant discrimination from a publicly funded facility. But no surprise from a money pit that continues to do the wrong thing most of the time.
August 28th, 2014 — Washington Pavilion
I suppose I could talk about the (non) press conference about the buckling siding at the EC, but there was so much Beautiful Sunshine going on there, I think they had a couple of skid loaders waiting afterwards.
The BIG story of the day is the announcement of a new Visual Arts Center director at the Pavilion;
Kara Dirkson will become the new director of the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion beginning Sept. 29.
I have to tell you I was delighted to hear this. Kara is well worth her weight in gold when it comes to art, in other words, she knows her stuff. While Kara and I ‘Don’t Hang’ we have many mutual friends, and I am well aware of her talents. I just hope they let her ‘Do her Job’ of advancing visual arts in our community, that is all I have ever expected of the VAC.
Good Luck Kara! And I have an open invitation for an interview to tell readers what your future plans are for the VAC.