Speak Up Now! Save Bath House Cultural Center’s Future

Think the arts have positive financial impact, but don’t know how to prove it?

In July and August, the 13th Annual Festival of Independent Theatres at Dallas’ Bath House Cultural Center, featuring eight different, viable companies and a myriad of regional performing artists, directors, playwrights and support staff, drew in close to 2000 attendees, record attendance for this unique, independent, well-run  performance festival. According to Americans for the Arts ( the nation’s longstanding  arts advocacy non-profit based in Washington DC) Arts and Economic Prosperity III study conducted in 2006-7 ( excluding data from NYC and LA), every arts ticket buyer spends an additional $20-$40 in support of the local economy.

Plug in the data. Conservatively speaking, FIT brought in $40,000 to the Dallas economy; or at the high end: $80,000. Above the roughly $32,000 it garnered in ticket sales. Chump change? FIT is just one small arts festival! Dallas City Council members need to know this before they vote to cut the funding for the Bath House manager’s position. The Bath House Cultural Center warrants Dallas’ continued support and NEEDS its versatile, creative manager to keep producing arts programming like FIT…..please read on—-

From Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center on Friday, July 16, 2010:
Dear Dallas friends and fans of the Bath House Cultural Center:I’m posting this vital call to action regarding the proposed 2010-11 City of Dallas budget, specifically Key Focus Area: Culture, Arts and Recreation, Line 17, Budget Number OCA-001-C.

Please read and act now.

You know that for the past few years the City budget has cut back funding to the libraries and cultural centers. The 2010-11 budget includes the Bath House Cultural Center manager position, but does not fund the position. Of all the neighborhood cultural centers, the Bath House currently serves the greatest number of patrons (26,300+) from across Dallas with the fewest staff members (3).

Without the manager, we stand to lose a great deal. Besides losing an incumbent with talent, energy, and contacts, we could lose the Bath House itself. We all know instances where a reduction in staff and programming led to lack of use and eventual decline of a facility. Over time, that could happen to the historic Bath House building.

For the cost of that salary (about $65,000) the City of Dallas invests not only in the Bath House, one of the City’s greatest economic development resources, but also in the quality of life of its diverse citizenry.

We must keep the Bath House fully staffed. You can help support the effort to retain the manager’s position at the Bath House Cultural Center in the following ways:

1. Call or write the three council members whose districts overlap the Bath House. (see below)

2.) Call or write your own City Council member. For contact information, go to
http://dallascityhall.com/government/government.html.

Every time you contact a City Council Member, refer to Key Focus Area: Culture, Arts and Recreation, Line 17, Budget Number OCA-001-C. Tell each Council Member that you request the City of Dallas to fund the Manager position at the Bath House Cultural Center in the 2010-11 budget.

Your input counts! With your help we can keep the Bath House Cultural Center operating with the staff needed to provide quality programming.

Thank you,
Karen Casey, President, Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center

Contact Council members serving the Bath House:
a.) Sheffie Kadane (District 9) at 214-670-4069. Send an e-mail message at Dallas City Hall website: http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/forms/mcc/CD09_Mail_Form.htm or mail letters to Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St., Room 5FS, Dallas, 75201.

b.) Jerry Allen (District 10) at 214-670-4068. Send an e-mail at Dallas City Hall website: http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/forms/mcc/CD10_Mail_Form.htm or mail letters to Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St., Room 5FS, Dallas, 75201.

c.) Angela Hunt (District 12) at 214-670-5415. Send an e-mail at Dallas City Hall website: http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/forms/mcc/CD14_Mail_Form.htm or mail a letter to Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St., Room 5FN, Dallas, 75201


Here’s hard, cold facts to include:
America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity yearly—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations, an additional $103.1 billion in event-related audience expenditure. This economic activity supports 5.7 million jobs and $29.6 billion in increased government revenue. Yearly. Between 2000 and 2005, event-related spending by arts audiences increased 28%— from $80.8 billion to $103.1 billion. Documented fact, it’s not chump change nor “pork”. Want to review the economic impact of event-related spending by arts audiences? Check out the Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Prosperity Calculator: www.americansforthearts.org.

Sincerely yours,

Alexandra Bonifield

arts advocate & theatre critic

criticalrant.com

 

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2 thoughts on “Speak Up Now! Save Bath House Cultural Center’s Future

  1. Thank you, Alexandra. I’m a member of the Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center. Those of us who have worked in the arts or simply love them understand that performing and visual arts have intrinsic value. You’ve taken the case further in this piece by plugging in the data and weaving together the economics, policy and politics of the arts. We appreciate your voice and viewpoint. ..Joyce

    Like

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