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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Annie

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Happy Holidays from TR101! I’ve often discussed on this blog how theatre helps local economies. The evidence out there consistently supports this, all the way up the scale from small non-profit venues and organizations to the big commercial productions. So I was not surprised to read a recent article in The Atlantic how the arts have been a main driver of Pittsburgh’s revitalization, especially thanks to the work of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I have seen this upswing with my own eyes over the past six plus years that I have been traveling to Pittsburgh for settlement. The changes in downtown Pittsburgh have been quite noticeable. The past couple of years have been especially exciting, as new ambitious restaurants begin to dot the area around the cultural district, and new hotels are being planned. The many Pittsburghers I know and are friends with are proud of their city. It’s a place where good people come from. It’s a special city with a rich history and a warm, town-like feel. And now, they can take pride in this…

http://m.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/how-the-cultural-arts-drove-pittsburghs-revitalization/383627/

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Census MichiganI’ve talked a lot here about the tax credit incentives for commercial theatre productions that in recent years have become more and more common. These tax breaks will likely make a difference with regard to where producers launch a tour, or do a pre-Broadway run, and this decision will subsequently have an impact on that local economy. New York State is the most recent state to get on the tax credit boat. Now that New York has entered the mix, there will be even more competition to get these shows.

Case in point: below is a link to a recent article where we see a real example of how Chicago benefited at Detroit’s expense with regard to the launch of the MOTOWN THE MUSICAL National Tour in part because of the Illinois Live Theatre Production Tax Credit Program. It’s too bad, as Detroit would have made more sense for the launch of the “MOTOWN” tour from a historical standpoint, and that city certainly could have used the jobs and economic bump.

“How Chicago lured MOTOWN THE MUSICAL away from Motor City”

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uncle sam dollar sign bagbway in binghamton

clemens center bldgproctors

Wonderful news out of Albany yesterday, which is not something I get to say too often. No April Fool’s joke, the State Legislature approved a tax credit in the state budget for FY14-15 that will cover 25% of production-related costs for shows that tech and/or try out road tours, or pre-Broadway productions in the State of New York outside the boundaries of New York City. I first mentioned the possibility of this tax credit back in October 2013 in this post.

Below are links to several articles that cover this recent win-win for New York State and Broadway tours and pre-Broadway productions. And if it’s a success this will show, once again, how beneficial the performing arts can be to local economies. Hopefully, this will set a good example and one day a tax credit will also be considered for other sectors of the theatre industry, especially the historically and culturally significant, but vulnerable independent theatre sector in New York City where so many performers, directors, designers, managers, and producers that work on these Broadway level shows got their start.

Bravo, Albany!

THE NEW YORK TIMES

PLAYBILL

THEATERMANIA

BROADWAY WORLD

AP

amNY

SCHENECTADY GAZETTE

BUFFALO NEWS

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Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Hey there, Road 101 fans! I’m back here in the blogosphere after a super busy several months during which I was completely immersed in a time-sensitive musical theatre commission, as well as deeply involved in our hectic, and, often-times dramatic New York City 2013 primary elections! For those of you who do not live in NYC, we’re in the midst of a significant change-over here, from the Mayor on down.

In addition to the work I do at BAA, I am also a member of a 501 (c)6 here in NYC called The League of Independent Theater and this election year has been crucial towards achieving our goal of helping to get candidates elected who are pro-performing arts, and who pledge to do everything in their power to help our economically and culturally vital, but ever-struggling independent theater scene throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

Being engaged in the local elections was an amazing and educational experience. Quite a few of the candidates who we endorsed won their primary races (which in the preponderance of NYC races is tantamount to being elected), and so we are excited about this being a real beginning towards sustainability, and making sure that the performing arts don’t get short shrift. I encourage everyone out there, wherever you live, to get involved during an election year. It could make all the difference to the future of the arts in your community!

LIT based its endorsements on a candidate’s willingness to commit to our 8-plank performing arts platform; if not the whole platform, then as many planks as possible. The most challenging of our planks, but one we feel is absolutely vital, asks our lawmakers to: “Implement a proposal that would reduce or eliminate property tax assessments for those non-profit organizations that have an artistic mission and/or rent performance space to similar non-profit performing arts groups with artistic missions of their own.”

Okay. Ho-hum, Whatever. What does any of this have to do with commercial theatre touring, you ask? Well, the independent theater sector in NYC is not the only sector looking for a little bit of a tax break. The Broadway League, and other stakeholders in the theatre presenting world, are currently in the midst of their own tax-credit initiative proposal that they are seeking from Albany that would incentivize touring productions and pre-Broadway productions to do their tech and initial productions in New York State. Tours have continually shown that they invigorate local economies, so it makes sense for New York State to find ways to get more productions to come and launch their tours here. Whether it was as a result of these efforts, or perhaps they saw the light on their own, Albany lawmakers via the New York State Senate’s Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee, chaired by Sen. Betty Little, (a committee that thankfully also includes my fabulous, pro-arts State Senator, Brad Hoylman) will be considering a kind of tax credit for these sorts of productions during the 2014 legislative session. Here are two articles on the topic:

‘On with the show, with tax credits’

‘Proctors CEO: Boost local economies with tax credits for touring Broadway shows

As you already know because you are someone who is “in the know,” or because you read my previous posts on the topic, Louisiana and Illinois have already implemented a tax-credit for touring productions, and Massachusetts may potentially be next. Or, maybe, my home state will beat Massachusetts to the punch. đŸ™‚

But the point I want to leave you with is that theatre touring, and performing arts in general, is ultimately a business, whether it be commercial or non-profit, that benefits the economy, and every once in a while, it’s important that those of us who participate in the performing arts, whether as a booker, a presenter, a producer, an actor, a stage manager, a director a designer, etc., get a bit more pro-active on the political front, so our elected representatives remember that they need us, and that we’re not just all song and dance.

Don’t forget to vote November 5th!!!

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I’ve discussed live theatre tax credits on this blog on a number of occasions. Recently, I specifically posted about Boston becoming a city where this credit may go into effect if a recently introduced bill is passed into law. You can check that post out here. The theatre tax credit bill, according to The Boston Globe, was filed on January 17, 2013.

I have also posted about New Orleans, which already has a theatre tax credit in place, and which is referred to in relation to the proposed bill in Massachusetts.  You can check out my post about the theatre tax credit in New Orleans here.

My colleague, Rich Jaffe, President of Broadway in Boston, discusses the potential that this tax credit has to grow the economy in Boston, as part of this informative coverage on the topic:

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arts and economy

I’ve talked before about how the arts benefit local economies. You can check samples of those posts here and here. But it is a topic that bears repeating, and you will see me repeat it again and again on this blog because it’s an argument that doesn’t always seem to connect with a lot of politicians.

Rather than a traditional touring venue, such as the Hippodrome, this article focuses on the non-profit, Center Stage, but I believe that all or most of the statements in this article can also apply to the touring shows that pass through the Hippodrome, as touring shows also have a positive economic impact on local economies.

“THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF THE ARTS”  – Baltimore Sun

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This recent article talks specifically about WICKED as it rolls into the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City and the number of trucks needed for the size of the tour. It is also a reminder, though, that theatre on The Road clearly remains popular and generates enough revenue to the extent that the Capitol Theatre will be spending millions of dollars in renovations to upgrade the facility. Guess SLC really wants to give THE BOOK OF MORMON a warm welcome should the musical ring on its doorbell for the 2013-14 season.

Now, if we can only get State governments and the Federal government to spend more money upgrading American roads! Upgrading roads could potentially be helpful with making certain bad jumps from one market to another more realistic, and ultimately save both the presenter and the show on OT labor costs…

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – July 17, 2012

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