According to the Burnsville Performing Arts Center Commission meeting minutes from November 17, 2010, VenuWorks’ BPAC Director Jon Elbaum feels as if there are just not enough hours in the day and something has to give and that something is the BPAC’s mission to serve the community and more specifically to provide tours of the $20 million taxpayer funded facility.
From the 11/17/2010 BPAC Commission minutes:
4. Update on recent site visits – Jon Elbaum
Many different groups have been stopping by to take tours of Burnsville Performing Arts Center (BPAC). They’re unfortunately is no way to do it all. Elbaum would like the commission to weigh in on the cost benefits, how these events fit in with the rest of the building uses, and how these events fit in with community uses.
While VenuWorks has said as recently as late October that the center has turned a corner and is showing positive growth, the most recently available BPAC financial statements show little improvement over what their earliest available year-end estimates provided back in April and actually show regression if you were to believe the forecasts as of June and July and are still far outpacing the expected ~$266,000 yearly loses when the facility first opened back in 2009.
Mr. Elbaum’s team has definitely provided more shows to the public and has gone so far as to ensure that an act will be available for New Years Eve, something which the BPAC was unable to do in 2009, but with a Main Stage event calendar still lacking in many areas–including the promised big name acts, some may wonder just how much work Mr. Elbaum has been doing since taking over the BPAC in 2010.
Part of the BPAC’s mission is to serve the community which paid for its creation and on-going operation and one could argue that providing tours to those community members would be a big part of that–especially for a management company interested in meeting the demands of the Commissioners which nearly all have asked that marketing (public awareness) become a priority in 2011.
So what do you think about Mr. Elbaum’s wish that his team’s involvement with tours of the $20 million publicly funded arts center cease? Do you believe that VenuWorks should continue to meet the mandate and provide tours or do you believe that they are really one of the biggest reasons, at least big enough to warrant asking the Commissioners if they could stop providing the service to the public, that the center is still not booking enough acts and meeting its financial goals? Whatever you have to say about Jon Elbaum’s comments at the November 17th BPAC Commission meeting and the current direction of the BPAC itself go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.