Saratoga Performing Arts Center Responds to Audit

Classic Arts News   Saratoga Performing Arts Center Responds to Audit
In a letter released last week, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center said it would implement the "many worthwhile suggestions and recommendations" of a highly critical preliminary audit of the facility issued by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

According to the Troy Record, Stephen Serlin, SPAC's newly installed board chairman, told the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation that the department could cut its investigation short.

There is "no advantage," he wrote, "in engaging in a protracted audit process or debate to question or confirm a set of findings with which the board essentially agrees."

The audit, released on November 22, criticized the center's decision to end the New York City Ballet's annual residencies, SPAC's governance and fundraising practices, and the high salary paid to president Herbert A. Chesbrough, who is leaving. In response, the board said that it would create a new business plan in order to raise more money; complete an already-initiated review of its own structure; and survey peer organizations in order to determine the new president's salary.

The retention of annual performances by the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra is a high priority for SPAC, Serlin said. But, he said, the ability of the center to present the two groups is dependent on increased revenues from ticket sales and fundraising.

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