One of the most tragic fallout effects of troubled economies is the devastation it wreaks on the arts of any culture. This is true for cities across the United States and while the residents of each urban center are dealing with it on an ongoing basis, many people who are traveling arrive and find much of their plans to have dissolved without their awareness. Phoenix, Arizona is one example of a popular tourist destination as well as a standard winter visitor location for people from all across the nation. Major cultural institutions are threatened with extinction due to their lack of financial assistance from grants and major corporations, let alone the dried up funds of many private contributors. The latest potential loss is with one of the city’s great professional theatre companies, Actors Theatre (formerly Actors Theatre of Phoenix).
Artistic Director of the company, Mathew Weiner, has announced publicly that the company may not be able to finish the run of its latest production, Next Fall if it doesn’t reach its current financial need of seventy thousand dollars. This sum might seem minor and accessible to many major organizations, though to others it expands their yearly budget. And for Actors Theatre, it’s simply a matter of immediate survival. The show must go on, and for Weiner, according to Ropert Pela’s blog with the Phoenix New Times, it means he hasn’t received a paycheck in the past three months. For private individuals suffering from immediate economic crisis, support is available through www.moneymutual.com , and other financial services. However, for a major non-profit organization, these short-term loans are of no use.
It has been claimed that a great city can be represented, or recognized, by the quality of its theatre. These are examples set for by major world acknowledge theatre towns like London and New York, however, all of the arts are symbolic of the cultural evolutionary status of any community. And unfortunately, it is also the arts, and theatre among them, that are the first to fall victim to economic difficulties. Grant monies dry up, personal budgets tighten and even corporations let go of their donation capacities. This is one of the most unfortunate aspect of the recent economic problems, and while on the service the arts seem like a frivolous extravagance when we’re using our mutual fund to survive, the loss of an active arts community affects us in more ways than we know. And when tourists stop filling our hotels, restaurants and retail stores, this is just one of the unfortunate effects of the loss of great entertainment and cultural attractions. Save the planet, save your home, save the theatre. The show must go on.