Vashon Center for the Arts Passes Revised Emergency Budget
Vashon WA — In response to the recent closure of Vashon Center for the Arts due to the coronavirus pandemic, VCA’s Board of Trustees approved a revised 2020 emergency budget on Monday evening, March 23.
“We are taking the necessary, painful, but responsible steps we must take to minimize VCA’s financial losses during these unprecedented days, so that we can emerge from this situation ready to continue our mission and serve our community better than ever before,” Board Chair John de Groen said.
Like most arts organizations in the greater Seattle area, VCA’s programming temporarily ended when Governor Inslee mandated closures on March 16. With the latest state-wide directive for residents to stay home, it is even more uncertain when organizations like VCA can re-open.
Executive Director Allison Halstead Reid, along with members of VCA’s finance and executive committees, developed a staffing contingency plan and revised emergency budget based on the assumption that the closure could continue into the summer months. With all programs shut down and the loss of earned revenue those programs provide, staffing reductions became necessary.
As of April 1, half of VCA’s administrative and programming staff will be laid off through this period. All remaining staff will see salary reductions between 10% and 25%.
“We are shifting gears while our remaining essential staff work remotely from their homes to explore every new opportunity we can to share the arts with our community,” Halstead Reid said. “We’ve worked quickly to launch a new video library, VCA TV, to bring great content to online viewers in their homes, and we plan to have a virtual gallery up in the coming weeks to showcase visual artists and promote their work.”
In addition, plans are underway to share artist tutorials and online classes on social media. “It is so important for all of us to keep the arts alive and to celebrate the artists we serve in our community,” Halstead Reid said. “No matter the circumstances or the medium, VCA will remain a forum for artists and their work whether by promoting what they are doing themselves or in tandem with VCA’s efforts.”
VCA is also now offering Ticket Passes to future performances in the Kay White Hall. Islanders can pre-purchase these passes as a show of support during a time of lost revenue as well as ensure a built-in audience as soon as doors re-open. Three different ticket pass tiers are offered, all good for one year after the Center reopens: a 4- Ticket Pass; a 10- Ticket Pass; and an Unlimited- Ticket Pass.
An emergency fundraising effort, VCA Resilience Fund, has been launched to help the organization offset the losses in program revenue and the cost of keeping a core staff in place through the closure. As a not-for-profit organization, VCA relies on charitable support from individual donors, businesses and foundations. All board members and many community members have already contributed to the new fund to support VCA’s effort to keep the arts at the center of life on our island.
In a central position on the island and directly situated on Vashon Highway, VCA has a large campus and parking lot. Halstead Reid has been in contact with other community organizations and emergency services to offer use of the campus during the crisis. Further outreach to support islanders and essential services is ongoing.
“If we can provide a service in any way to help our community, we will do everything we can,” said John de Groen.
Despite uncertainty about the future, Halstead Reid remains optimistic.
“The board and I believe firmly we can and will make our way through this new landscape and get back to our vital mission,” she said: “Giving artists a home to showcase their talents, educate our children, and remind us of our common humanity.”
About Vashon Center for the Arts
Vashon Center for the Arts is a collaborative and community-based organization that initiates quality arts experiences for all ages, creates opportunities for artists to perform and exhibit their work, and provides a center for the arts on Vashon Island.