The finance committee of the Arkansas Arts Center today discussed a proposed $6 million budget for its fiscal year starting July 1, which is about $1 million more than last year's budget. The budget goes to the full board at noon Monday.
Arts Center deputy director of operations Laine Harber and committee head Mary Elllen Vandgilder went over with committee members their reasoning for the increase: They expect increased revenues from Tabriz, museum school tuition, ticket sales to the 2013 exhibition of works by Rembrandt, Gainesborough, Van Dyck and other important artists from Kenwood House, England, and grant and development revenues.
In a press release, Arts Center Director Todd Herman said the standard operating portion of the budget is $5.2 million; the remaining dollars are considered special revenue.
Still, the budget is ambitious. The Arts Center's fund-raising in 2012 missed its budget by around $500,000, Harber said. It's been a bad time for arts institutions the nation over, and the bad economy hit the Arts Center when it was down, thanks to a failed promised gift and unexpected spending related to its "World of the Pharaohs" exhibition.
The Arts Center's cash situation is vastly improved over April projections, Harber said, thanks to unexpected gifts and its ability to put off certain exhibition expenses until the 2013 budget. Once expected to be around $350,000, it not looks like it will be about $40,000, and even that could be zeroed out by putting off payables until 2013.