University of Iowa Cuts Funding to Iowa City Theater
Hancher Auditorium is leaning on more support from grants and donors after it was recently announced that the University of Iowa would be reducing funding toward the venue.
After a struggle like many had in 2020 due to the pandemic, Hancher had a reduced schedule of events and more cancelations which meant revenue from patrons was reduced. Now comes the news the University will be making budget cuts, in which Hancher is included.
Naturally, this, unfortunately, means increased ticket prices
The Iowa City Press-Citizen talked to Hancher director Chuck Sampson who simply said the reduction in funding from the University of Iowa would be "felt" by patrons who attend shows there.
They remain committed to keeping it cheap for students
A $10 flat-fee ticket price for students will not go away if they can help it, according to Sampson. They are also looking at new options to raise revenue including a "season cup" program, a drink cup patrons can purchase and reuse throughout the season in an effort to generate more beverage sales.
Donors and grants will be leaned on even more heavily
Those two funding sources make up about 1.5 million dollars of Hancher's revenue and with a reduction from the University, Sampson says donor support and grant money will have to grow.
Hancher's commitment to quality will not change
They may have to be more selective, says Sampson. The 2021-22 season includes a number of events that were slated for last season but rescheduled for this year including an appearance by "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" as well as events like the American Ballet Theatre at Hancher Green and upcoming performances by the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. These events are already on the books for this season and will not be canceled due to the latest announcement of budget cuts (more changes due to COVID may be another story, though that hasn't been announced either), but in the future, such big-ticket shows may need to be rethought as the auditorium focuses on community programming.