Perseverance Theatre in Douglas was founded in 1979 by Molly Smith and is currently led by Artistic Director Leslie Ishii and Managing Director Frank Delaney. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Perseverance Theatre in Douglas was founded in 1979 by Molly Smith and is currently led by Artistic Director Leslie Ishii and Managing Director Frank Delaney. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Vetoes would ‘sting’ but not doom Perseverance Theatre

Theater would be among arts organizations hurt by loss of state arts council

Perseverance Theatre would stand to lose about $30,000 if Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes stand, wrote the theater’s managing director Frank Delaney in an email to the Capital City Weekly.

The loss would be about $20,000 in direct funding from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and a $10,000 travel grant that supports The Winter Bear tour, which deals with suicide prevention in rural Alaska. Delaney said it’s difficult to calculate the exact impact the vetoes would have because there would be ripple effects on the theater from cuts to other state services.

[With Legislature fractured, override vote is uncertain]

Eliminating all funding for the ASCA, which supports artistic organizations throughout the state, including Perseverance Theatre, was among Dunleavy’s 182 line-item vetoes totalling more than $400 million.

In a press release Wednesday, the theater denounced the ASCA funding veto.

Delaney wrote to the Capital City Weekly the lost revenue would not be ideal, but it would not spell disaster for Perseverance Theatre. Last year, the theater had to furlough employees because of six-figure debt. Ultimately, anonymous donors ensured the theater was able to raise the curtains on its 40th season.

“We are in a better position than we were last year, but we have more work to do,” Delaney wrote. “We aren’t in a position where we can take a 30000 dollar hit and not feel the sting.”

He wrote it is unlikely the theater would need to make more cuts to its operating budget — at least initially.

“Compared to some other, smaller arts organizations in the state we have a greater ability to potentially fundraise more to augment the loss of funds, not everyone has the staff available to make that happen,” Delaney wrote. “Of course, none of that is guaranteed like the money from the ASCA would be without the vetoes.”


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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