The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday February 5th

Arts programs increase budgets for 2012-13 year

In an era of continuous budget cuts, campus arts organizations have made strides to become more self-sufficient, taking on larger budgets and projects.

Compared to last year, Carolina Performing Arts, PlayMakers Repertory Company and the Ackland Art Museum have anywhere from $1 million to tens of thousands of dollars more in their budgets this year.

By The Numbers:

$1 Million – Increase in CPA’s budget from 2011-2012
$3 Million – “Right of Spring at 100” season projected cost
11 – New performances commissioned by CPA

CPA’s budget grew from $5 million to $6 million.

“Two-thirds of that we raised on our own,” said Executive Director of the Arts Emil Kang. “We’ve had to become more and more self-sufficient as the years go on.”

UNC provides one-third of CPA’s budget, which pays the salaries of the CPA staff.

The remaining two-thirds comes from ticket sales and donations, most of which go toward performance fees.

The centerpiece of the 2012-13 CPA season, “The Rite of Spring at 100,” the centennial celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s influential ballet, is budgeted for $3 million.

Kang said CPA commissioned 11 new performances this year, raising the season’s value.

“When you commission a work, you actually invest in the creation of a piece,” he said. “These shows are getting started at UNC.”

PlayMakers is also taking on a larger season with its production of “Cabaret.” The company did not produce any musicals last year, so it didn’t need to pay for music directors, choreographers or musicians.

PlayMakers’ budget this year is $2.4 million, up from last year’s $2.1 million.

The company received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts — the same amount for last year’s “Henry” plays. This is the largest grant NEA awarded this year in the country.

The grant supports PlayMakers’ rotating repertory of “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Clybourne Park,” pooling into the main budget, said Hannah Grannemann, PlayMakers’ managing director.

“What we really do is create a budget for the whole year,” she said.

Grannemann also said the company is working with less revenue from the University.

“We’ve been able to absorb those cuts by compensating with donations and ticket sales,” she said.

University funds and contributions each make up about 30 percent of the budget, while ticket and concession sales make up 40 percent.

This year, PlayMakers will offer $10 student tickets instead of its former offer of half-off prices, which varied with performance nights. The new student rate is the cheapest price PlayMakers offers.

Grannemann said she hopes this will increase revenue.

“We’re hoping that it means more students will come — that’s really our driving force,” Grannemann said.

Ackland offers free admission, relying heavily on donations and University funding.

Its approximate $2.4 million budget is funded 41 percent by donations and 39 percent by the state and University.

Ackland has received a grant from UNC’s Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee, not exceeding $52,000, to install LED lighting.

Emily Kass, museum director, said its operational budget goes to developing exhibitions and community outreach.

“We have a really solid base of support, not just in the University … but also in the community.”

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