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Community Forum - THE ARTS: Trouble or Opportunity?

Space is limited. Please visit http://bit.ly/ArtsForum to register.

Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm

Duration: 2 hours

Location: Meader Little Theatre, Russell Sage College campus - Troy

Contact: Rebecca Eppelmann | reppelmann@troyrecord.com | 518.270.1299

Attendance at art events began rebounded nationally in 2010 -- the first growth in the industry since 2003, according to a new National Arts Index study.

But is the Capital District part of that trend?

The public is invited to a free event, during which five prominent figures in the local arts community will answer that question.

Leaders of several major local arts institutions will participate and offer their thoughts on how their organizations have been impacted by the economy and discuss their vision for the future of the arts in the Capital District, be it growth, down-sizing, collaboration or mergers.

Co-sponsored by The Record and The Saratogian, the event will take place at the The Meader Little Theatre on the Troy campus of Russell Sage.

Panelists include:

  • Peter Lesser, executive director of The Egg in Albany;
  • Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors in Schenectady;
  • Dr. Susan Scrimshaw, president of The Sage Colleges in Albany and Troy, which includes The Theatre Institute at Sage under the umbrella of the college‚Äôs Department of Arts and Letters, and;
  • Marcia White, producer and executive director of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs.

Bob Goepfert, content coordinator for weekender, the weekly joint entertainment product published by the two newspapers, will moderate the discussion.

The forum takes place at a time when the arts community has suffered severe cuts in funding and reduced box office receipts because of a soft economy.  The panelists will address questions about the wisdom of increasing production in times of decreasing ticket sales; the issues of building new audiences; tapping into younger demographics and; how to lower fixed costs without reducing the quality of the product.   With partnerships being so critical in tough times, the panel will address the problems they inherit when a performance partner goes out of business or is in risky financial shape. 

Though the problems are real, the goal of the forum is be pro-active in a time when creativity off the stage is becoming as important as the creativity seen on it.