Minnesota's Penumbra Theatre Company Suspends Programming and Cuts Staff Due to Cash Flow Challenge

News   Minnesota's Penumbra Theatre Company Suspends Programming and Cuts Staff Due to Cash Flow Challenge
 
Penumbra Theatre Company, the Minnesota-based company that presents works through the prism of the African American experience, has announced that programming will temporarily be suspended due to an "immediate cash flow challenge."

"Over the last month, Penumbra decided that it needed to curb new expenses until the income could be stabilized," said Bill Stevens, chair of the Penumbra board of directors, in a statement.

Penumbra has cut $800,000 from its remaining budget for the year ending June 30, 2013, including six full-time staff positions.

"All of these decisions are painful," added artistic director Lou Bellamy. "They have a huge impact on everyone – board, employees, artists, patrons and funders – individually and collectively. One of the hardest decisions was suspending the new play program and releasing Dominic Taylor, associate artistic director – New Play Development. He has graciously volunteered to continue to contribute his talents to this theatre."

The company's goal is to raise an additional $340,000 by Dec. 30, 2012, through a series of fundraisers.

If the fall fundraising efforts are successful, Penumbra will present Spunk, an adaptation by George C. Wolfe of three tales by Zora Neale Hurston, in March 2013, along with the Let's Talk Theatre and REEL Talk events. The Penumbra Summer Institute, a three-year arts education and leadership training program, will continue as scheduled. "Individual support has increased eight consecutive years, but it has not been able to compensate for the continuing decline in funding for the arts by foundations and corporations," noted managing director Chris Widdess. "We have begun to meet with our funders and donors — foundations, corporations and individuals — to keep them informed of our efforts to address this latest challenge."

For more information, visit PenumbraTheatre.org.

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