It’s been a lively time, with a near federal government shutdown and the possibility of even deeper cuts to cultural agencies. However, a bipartisan budget compromise was reached and the President described the new spending bill as “an agreement to invest in our country’s future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” (I believe many theatres have spoken similar words in recent years, when balancing their budgets.) We were thrilled to see strong advocacy efforts, along with a bi-partisan group of champions who helped us achieve a more positive outcome for agencies such as the NEA. Check out this post for details, but in summary: Both the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities are funded at $155 million, which for the NEA is less than last year’s $167 million, but still higher than the President’s budget recommendation or the amount approved by the House ($124.4 million). On Thursday, the House and Senate approved the FY11 spending package and the President signed the bill on Friday. Also on Thursday, Mark Hofflund, managing director of Idaho Shakespeare Festival, testified before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Please note that this was a bipartisan effort and we have some important champions to thank—whether or not you reside in their districts, but especially if you do.
Many of you fondly remember the TCG training sessions led by the remarkable Robbin Walker. Sponsored by Target Corporation, Expanding the Theatre Manager’s Repertoire was an extraordinary human resources and leadership development program that benefited hundreds of member theatre staffs. While we no longer offer our “Target Training” in the same fashion as before, Robbin is taking it to the phone lines with TCG, and we’re offering a new two-part series that kicks off this month. Visit the TCG Leadership Teleconference section of our website to register – and this Q&A with Robbin on the Circle. The call is set up so that you can reserve one phone line and have as many staff listen in with you as you like. Also note that many of our past Leadership Teleconferences were recorded and are available in the archive.
Big thanks to Lou Spisto from the Old Globe for stopping by TCG last week and speaking to our staff and interns in TCG’s Meet the Members program. We love hearing from theatre leaders from across the country about their work, their challenges, their local communities and, of course, how we at TCG can better serve the field.