Saturday, January 23, 2016

Performing Arts Centers And The Carolina Theater

When it was first proposed to build a downtown performing arts center in Greensboro there were many concerns that Greensboro's existing venues might suffer. Of particular concern was Greensboro's historic Carolina Theater. Nay, nay, we were told, Durham has the Durham Performing Arts Center and their Carolina Theater-- the sister to our own-- is doing fine.

Well as JoeyG points out that isn't exactly the case. Seems everyone thought Durham's Carolina Theater was doing just fine until the State of North Carolina started questioning why the taxes weren't being paid. And then despite the fact that City of Durham pays Carolina Theatre of Durham $654,000 a year to run the city-owned complex, the Raleigh News and Observer announced yesterday:

"The head of the nonprofit that runs the historic Carolina Theatre resigned Friday, one month after announcing the organization was more than $1 million in debt."

Now they are blaming falty accounting for not knowing they were loosing money:

"In a joint interview last month, Nocek and Harmon announced the nonprofit had run up an additional $800,000 in debt since July 2013, during a time when the board thought the theater was making a profit.

Previous information released by the nonprofit had indicated it ended the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years with small surpluses and cut its long-term debt to $224,909.

The leaders blamed the additional deficit on faulty accounting"

Faulty accounting explains the fact that no one seemed to know they were loosing money but does faulty accounting explain why they were loosing money? No it doesn't.

Could it be they were loosing money because they just couldn't compete with DPAC and no one knew it? Could it be someone was pocketing the cash? Is the faulty accounting actually fraudulent accounting?

I don't know. I can't answer those questions and so far the folks in Durham haven't been able or are unwilling to answer them either. And until they do this will loom heavy over Greensboro's various venues just as it looms over Durham now. The success of Downtown Durham since the opening of DPAC has been trumped every time the subject of a downtown performing arts center for Greensboro has ever been discussed publicly but if Durham's success isn't what we were lead to believe it was...

Perhaps Mayor Nancy Barakat "Grasshopper" Vaughan would like to finish that last paragraph. You see, I made the bus trip to DPAC sitting right across from Judge Henry Frye and Walker Sanders along with the GPAC supporters and I listened to Durham's politicians tooting their own horns just like politicians everywhere toot their own horns... Just like all the politicians and elites on the bus tooted their own horns while Sarah served the wine.

But me, I'm not allowed alcohol because it interferes with my heart medications. So I just listened to the horns.

Update: Fec weighs in with DPAC the Destroyer

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