Dear Friends and Supporters:
We are deeply humbled by the overwhelming wave of support that came in the form of emails and calls to Buncombe County Commissioners in the wake of the release of their proposed budget draft cutting 50% of the operational funding for Diana Wortham Theatre and The Asheville Art Museum. We are, of course, deeply disappointed that, despite the large show of support, the budget was passed without further discussion.
This is a sudden decision handed down at a time when the Diana Wortham Theatre is in great transition. On July 1, we begin a new fiscal year, which includes a major transition in leadership. The Next Stage Campaign is in its final stages and, thanks to your support, the Diana Wortham Theatre is poised to expand programming for thousands of Buncombe County residents and visitors. A cut of this magnitude will require a major organizational shift to overcome, but overcome we shall.
Please take a moment to follow up with the commissioners to respectfully thank them for their time and for listening:
Respectfully let them know what their decision to reduce funding by 50% – in effect cutting vital funding by $175,000 – means to you as a community member. Now, more than ever, we must continuously communicate the importance of the vital programming and services that Diana Wortham Theatre has provided to this community for more than 20 years.
This budget cut is a challenge, but one we will face head on. Rest assured that the staff and board at Diana Wortham Theatre remain unwavering in our dedication to this community and the programming that brings the performing arts to more than 50,000 patrons each season, allows 10,000 children learn through the arts, and provides a home to more than 20 arts groups.
With sincere gratitude,
Incoming Managing Director