The Arkansas Arts Center is looking at ending its fiscal year with a cash flow deficit of $365,299, according to its financial officer's best estimates, and will likely have to go to the Arts Center Foundation for help.
Chucki Bradbury, chairman of the Arts Center's board of directors, said today the center suffered a "perfect storm" this fiscal year, suffering from a downturn in private giving (it didn't have a development officer for several months), an exhibition schedule that included no high profile paid exhibitions to boost traffic and membership, unexpected maintenance problems (it will probably have to replace the HVAC boilers to the tune of $80,000), and so forth.
Development numbers are under budget by nearly $400,000.
Bradbury said the silver lining is that the board is fully aware and understands the Arts Center's finances, something that could not have been said about the board several years ago. Also: Next year the Arts Center will have a huge exhibit that will include a famed self-portrait by Rembrandt — which the New York Times called "magnificently plainspoken" in an article about the painting's appearance at the Metropolitan Museum. From the Met to the Arts Center — big stuff. The cost of bringing the work, part of an exhibit from Kenwood House in England, is nearly paid for, which is also good news.