Devastating Losses Due to Pandemic

Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts supports (curates, promotes, and provides funds to) the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater and hosts 250,000 visitors annually in a typical year. Our Theater is an economic engine for the region and vital to the once-thriving arts community in Tampa Bay.  COVID-19 forced our closure from March 15 through today and beyond. Funds are needed for programming (artist fees), operations, ticket revenue losses, marketing, and payroll expenses.

The pandemic resulted in 18 staff being furloughed, 35 shows canceled, 8 shows rescheduled,  6 youth education performances canceled, and many other special events and community engagements for both our membership and the public canceled. This devastating loss from closure for an uncertain length of time (seven months so far – and potentially up to 6-8 months until performers are comfortable traveling) will have lasting effects on the future of the Theater.

The halt in fundraisers, special events, sponsorships, underwriting, and prospect cultivation is equally devastating to our revenue stream as is canceling shows and refunding tickets. We continue to seek donations through our websites and social media outlets and e-blasts to our constituency, as well as calls, emails, and requests for zoom meetings. We are operating with a skeleton crew and need funds immediately to return to normal operations in the coming months. Additionally, PPP loans have run out.

Fund Use

Keep Performing Arts Alive in Tampa Bay, and help us continue to achieve our mission – educating, entertaining, and inspiring the public with an emphasis on the underserved. All funds awarded would go toward helping the following areas of our nonprofit organization:

Lost admissions revenue (for up to 7 months since we cannot schedule anything until 2021)
Lost Membership revenue (membership is driven from performances, and our membership numbers have greatly decreased over the past 7 months)
Operating costs – utilities, insurance, cleaning and sanitizing, etc.
Marketing expenses – communication with patrons, volunteers, tickets holders, contributors, and the public
Monthly charges for software and web sites
Supplement salaries for three employees
Lost contracts with artists


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