Arts center deficit grows by $1.8 million
By Suzy Valentine
The operating deficit for the Performing Arts Center's first four years could be about $1.8 million higher than last estimated - $8.6 million as opposed to $6.8 million.
"We have a shortfall up to 2010," said David Wilson, treasurer of the center's trust. "I have an operating deficit of $8.6 million. We are very much concerned about the operating deficit. We're looking at different ways to raise revenue."
One method of supplementing funds could include exploiting intellectual property rights, Mr. Wilson said at Tuesday's trust meeting, but he didn't offer details. Last month, he suggested "licensing, royalty and sponsorship opportunities" as options.
Financial figures discussed at the meeting do not constitute a final, revised budget, said the center's manager of public relations, Luis Palomares.
"There is a meeting at the end of this month with [Miami-Dade County's] Budget Office," said Mr. Palomares, "at which time we hope to know what funding it will provide, which will then allow us to finalize a budget."
Performing Arts Center President Michael Hardy said in February that County Manager George Burgess "has promised to do what absolutely has to be done." The county will not commit funds, he has said, until the center's revised budget is complete.
In a separate initiative, the arts center is launching a charter membership plan. Those who subscribe to one of five membership levels - basic, plaza stone, hotline, patron or concierge - before Dec. 31 will have their names honored at the center.
"I think you'll find it's an extraordinarily sexy campaign," Mr. Hardy said.
At the end of Tuesday's finance discussions, Mr. Wilson asked, "So, has anyone any questions or any money they would like to give?"