Centrepoint chases new sponsorship
Lotto! Proceeds from the twiceweekly lottery help fund a range of community endeavours, including the arts.
With news that the lack of high multi-million dollar jackpots has impacted on Lotto sales, arts organisations around the country, including the city’s Centrepoint Theatre have been told to expect funding cuts.
According to CNZ’s chief executive Stephen Wainright, 2015/16 revenue from the Lotteries Grants Board has declined to $26.31 million, from a forecast $30 million.
‘‘Creative NZ are signalling a 10 per cent reduction in arts funding,’’ says the theatre’s artistic director, Jeff Kingsford-Brown.
‘‘And for Centrepoint, it’s certainly serious.’’
In 2014 the country’s only provincial professional theatre faced a three-year cumulative loss of $85,000 due to a revamped Creative NZ funding formula.
For the last three years, Creative NZ has offered to match the theatre’s sponsorship and fundraising efforts dollar for dollar to $5000, and recognises that the new austerity being signalled will put the theatre in a difficult position.
‘‘Creative NZ are trying to help us and have offered to match new funding from whatever source up to $15,000. So, if we managed to get $15,000, we’d end up with $30,000, which would make a huge difference to us.’’
Jeff says he understands the predicament Creative NZ is in, and that the provinces are not a high funding priority, but he’s remaining positive, and thankful for the high level of business and community support the theatre receives.
‘‘We can’t sit here quietly and slowly fade into oblivion.’’
Theatre administration manager Julie Barnes says Centrepoint’s current funding of $410,000 is still a substantial grant.
‘‘Anyone working in the arts knows it’s impossible to operate without government funding. We’re fortunate we have a threeyear contract with the city council worth $45,000 a year, and we’re just putting in our application for another three more years.’’
While pulling its weight in terms of ticket sales, there was an understandable reluctance to put up seat prices.
Centrepoint Theatre’s artistic director, Jeff Kingsford-Brown is bracing for further cuts in the theatre’s funding.