As Iowa’s symphonies, ballets and theatre troops strive to survive an unforgiving economy, the president of Washington D.C.’s prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will visit Iowa this week. Michael Kaiser will be holding a round-table discussion with the leaders of numerous Iowa arts organizations, some of which are struggling financially.
Jeff Morgan is spokesman for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Morgan says, “He’s going to be visiting Des Moines to engage the arts community in a conversation about what is going on both locally and across the country with cultural arts in America.” In February, Kaiser began touring all 50 states to lead arts management meetings and community conversations. Morgan says non-profit cultural groups nationwide are feeling the budget pinch.
Morgan says, “From what we’re hearing ahead of his arrival here, many organizations across the country are facing similar issues with fundraising, their marketing, driving attendance to their venues or to their events.” The Kennedy Center has launched a program called “Arts in Crisis” in response to the economic emergency facing arts organizations across the U.S. The program provides free and confidential planning assistance to help maintain a vital performing arts organization during a troubled economy.
Morgan says, “We’re anxious to hear what he has to say about what he’s learning in other parts of the country and have a conversation and share experiences here in Des Moines and try to resolve some of these issues as we move forward.” The event is scheduled for 9 AM on Friday at The Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines. Admission is free. For more on the program, visit: “www.artsincrisis.org“.