This Tuesday, November 23, the Downey City Council will take up the question of whether or not to contract with VenueTech (http://www.venuetech.com) to manage the Downey Civic Theatre. VenueTech would take over all day to day operations of the theatre, including hiring a full time theatre manager and other theatre staff to handle all the production needs. In addition, VenueTech would use their knowledge and contacts in the performing arts industry to book touring shows and popular acts to the theatre, creating a programming plan or a series of events produced by the city and VenueTech. They would take over all rental agreements, price negotiations, talent contracts, marketing and technical coordination.
From their website: “VenueTech Management Group, LLC is a consulting and management firm involved in the business planning, capital development and direct management of community-based organizations and public assembly facilities. A significant portion of the firm’s business is focused on the restoration and reuse of historic buildings and the use of entertainment, cultural arts and public venues as a catalyst for economic development.” They are based in San Francisco and directly manage five other public theatres in California.
To read the full contract, CLICK HERE. The initial summary is interesting, then it gets a little technical. Page 21 starts more of the plans.
The initial term of the agreement is from 2011 to 2015. There are additional costs to the city, as there should be. This year, and additional $208,000 to get set up. Some will be offset by increased revenue, but not all. Our city does not invest in its theatre nearly as much as our nearby competitors La Mirada and Cerritos, so we shouldn’t blink at what is actually a small amount. The investment will bring a better quality and number of performances to the Downey Theatre over time, serving the community. In addition, VenueTech will create a non-profit 501c3 that will support the Downey Theatre with the involvement of community leaders and arts advocates. It seeks to build up a fundraising and volunteer organization to support the theatre. VenueTech states that they have as part of their vision for the Theatre to learn about and involve the commmunity, supporting our current companies “in residence” such as the Downey Civic Light Opera, Downey Symphony, and the Downey School District.
If you are able to come out to the City Council meeting, 7:30 PM in at City Hall on Tuesday, please do.