Arts centers take tax dollars

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 26, 2014 

Having been involved with several performing arts centers, I have never seen one that has been self-sufficient. Those supported by tax dollars become an anchor around government's neck -- a never-ending sinkhole for funds. Ticket sales alone do not pay even a small percentage of the operating costs. The more successful ones rely on corporate sponsorship.

Now look at the proposal for a 6,500- seat amphitheater and a 1,500-seat theater. The proponents of this little project with an estimate of $40 million to $60 million dollars (likely twice that) think it will generate revenue that will make this a paying venture. As much as an arts center of some size that is utilized to the fullest is needed, this project is not the answer.

If tax dollars are used to support it, what will be the cost to taxpayers? What other projects will be shelved as tax money is depleted?

There are no major corporations in the immediate area. To even try to think how the revenue will be generated begs the question of where will the patrons come from to fill the seats? Or will it operate as the present arts center with mostly black, non-revenue-generating nights?

Robert Moor

Hilton Head Island

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