Spoleto seeks financial aid

Image by spoletousa.orgImage by 20080628monkey.jpg "Monkey: Journey to the West" cost Spoleto about $1.3 million to produce, but it's only one of the reasons that the festival will probably end this fiscal year in debt.

Spoleto Festival USA is looking for a little outside help after announcing that, due to big spending this year, the festival will probably end the fiscal year in the red. Mostly blamed on the $1.3 million cost of "Monkey: Journey to the West," this would be the festival's first year-end deficit in more than a decade.

From the Charleston Regional Business Journal:

Still, the multimillion-dollar show must go on, and Spoleto needs corporate support.

“Does the state funding cutback and economic slowdown have the potential to cutback the festival? Yes,” said Carlos Evans, treasurer of the Spoleto board of directors. “Spoleto as a whole will never be able to pay for itself without contributions, corporate donations and state funding. No arts organization in the country can do that.”

Because the festival’s fiscal year doesn’t end until August, organizers still hope to generate enough donations to push the show back in the black.

But while they hold out hope, they aren't exactly optimistic, as the Business Journal continues:

In addition, donors have gotten tight with the buck as the economy slumps. Corporate donations are down more than 10%. In 2006, Spoleto received more than $2.4 million in contributions, according to its latest tax filing with the Internal Revenue Service. Coupled with government grants, that covered about half of the festival’s expenses with ticket revenue covering the rest.

“One donor last year who gave $100,000 gave $25,000 this year,” (Spoleto executive director Nigel) Redden said. “Another donor was down 50% in their contribution.”

If you're interested in helping out, whether as an individual or a corporate sponsor, you can visit Spoleto's donations site for more information.