The State of Michigan’s economic distress has ushered in a new era at the Michigan Theater - one that moves us away from government funding to focus on broader support from the community. In April of this year we were informed that our Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) funding was frozen until September 30, 2007. A few months later we were told we would receive the funds promised, however it would only be part of the amount originally awarded.
This news was shocking for us. We immediately went into action by reducing costs, trimming staffing, and changing our newsletter so it is published only six times a year rather than monthly. We turned to the community for help and we were greeted with a warm response and much needed funds. This is encouraging news but we still need ongoing support from ALL our supporters. It is particularly critical now because the funding we receive from Pfizer in the form of sponsorship and matching gifts from their employees will end next year as they leave the Ann Arbor area.
Their membership rates are about to increase- join now before they do! I feel like pointing out that for someone who likes to go to a lot of movies, the gold membership is not a bad deal - includes free entrance to all the Michigan theater sponsored movies, plus free popcorn, and $50 of the membership fee is tax-deductable.
The Michigan theater, for those not familiar with it, is a 1920s movie palace that still presents live concerts and theater as well as many indie and art films, cult classics, and a short film festival each year. I graduated from Community High School on the stage there in 1992, and I used to volunteer there quite regularly. Located in downtown Ann Arbor, the Michigan Theater is a centerpiece of the city's cultural identity.