Performing Arts Center Receives Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant
For an industry that exists to create, entertain and bring people together through shared experiences, the pandemic gave a particularly brutal blow to those in the business of the Arts, including the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas.
For 17 long months, the doors were closed, the seats were empty and the stage was without entertainment.
This hiatus – no Broadway shows, musical acts, family experiences and educational outreach programs – resulted in not only a decline in community engagement and economic development but in revenue.
“The Performing Arts Center operates much like any other venue in the state,” said David Mitchell, PAC general manager. “While we are supported by the University, most of our revenue is generated through ticket sales, sponsorships, donations and grants. Coming out of the pandemic, all of those revenue sources saw a decline while our basic operating expenses stayed fairly constant.”
To aid arts-based organizations across the state, the Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant Program was created to provide grants to Performing Arts Organizations and operators of Cultural Arts Museums in the state of Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that grants were awarded to 243 arts organizations across the state, including the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas.
The grants are specifically designed to help pay for employee compensation, excluding bonuses; employee recruitment, rehiring, and training expenses; rent or mortgage payments; and operating costs.
Word that the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas received a grant of nearly $64,000 from the relief program created some breathing room for Mitchell as he continues to navigate recovery efforts from financial losses caused by the pandemic.
“The economic relief grant received from the state gives us the foundational support we need to continue operation and get back to the essential business of enhancing our community through the arts and education,” said Mitchell. “We’ll use these funds for our overhead – employee compensation and operating expenses.”
With the 2023-2024 Performing Arts Center season in full swing, Mitchell is excited to move forward and keep the doors open to the community and surrounding areas.
“We need the arts now more than ever. The arts heal. They give us a sense of community. It’s pure magic and simple joy,” said Mitchell. “We need the arts to survive and show us the beauty in humanity. The arts are how we start to move forward.”
By presenting the highest caliber artists in the performing arts, the annual programing at the Performing Arts Center stimulates regional economic development and enriches the quality of life and cultural vitality of those who reside in Tuscarawas and neighboring rural Appalachian counties.
Mitchell explained that the arts industry in the state is still very much in recovery mode.
“We’re thankful to the Governor’s Office and the Ohio General Assembly for acknowledging the importance of the arts in our communities as an economic driver and for awarding these funds which will assist us in continuing to present extraordinary moments that create lifelong memories to our patrons,” he said.
The Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas is a 50,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility with a 1,100-seat theatre located in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The venue offers topflight professional performances of Broadway tours, headline music acts, comedy, family and dance programming as well as educational outreach to local schools. A complete schedule of performances is available at www.kent.edu/tuscpac.