During the last several weeks, rumors have been spreading about Carmel Repertory Theatre, leading some to question the future of the theatre group.
While the organization did vote a number of new members onto its Board of Trustees late last month, CRT and its plans for AACTFEST 2013 are still very much alive, according to board members John Clair, June Clair and Willaine St. Pierre.
“We are not a bit gone,” said John Clair, CRT’s newly-named chairman.
“Despite the rumors, it’s simply a restructuring event,” said St. Pierre, CRT secretary.
Admitting that the group’s recent transition was not communicated well to the public, John, June and St. Pierre were quick to address the spreading rumors, making it clear that CRT is still operational despite the recent changes to the board.
“There has always been a concern to keep the board rotating and keep moving,” St. Pierre said. “It’s volunteer. There have been a lot of changes, and people leave for different reasons all the time.”
Last year, CRT received $150,000 as part of a city grant to be put toward the hosting of AACTFEST 2013, a national community theater event coming to the Tarkington in June. The week-long event will include the presentation of 12 of the nation’s best community theatre productions as well as workshops, technical theatre and theatre management conferences and a number of vendors. CRT is expecting the event to bring more than 350 people from across the country to Carmel.
With limited volunteers and resources, CRT made the decision not to schedule a typical performance season this year, instead choosing to focus on the execution of AACTFEST.
At the time of publication, CRT was not being considered for a grant from the Carmel Support for the Arts fund.
“After consultation with the Council president and the Council finance chair, I have not made a recommendation for a grant to the CRT at this time,” Mayor Jim Brainard stated in an e-mail. “We are aware that the CRT board recently went through a reorganization, and we will continue to evaluate the progress being made in that organization.”
With last year’s sizeable grant and the lack of a traditional performance season, St. Pierre was not surprised to see that, at the time of publication, CRT was not being considered for city funding as part of Brainard’s arts fund proposal. Brainard will be presenting his final proposal to the city council at its April 15 meeting.
“I’m not surprised we aren’t on the (proposal),” St. Pierre said. “The city has been really generous in the past, and we are still in discussion with the Mayor and city council.”
At this point, CRT’s exact future remains unknown. With the group focused solely on AACTFEST, future seasons will depend on the group’s total funding later this year.
“We certainly will be going forward. We are just not planning exactly how just yet,” John said.
Read Mayor Brainard’s Proposal
Mayor James Brainard hereby requests the following arts organizations receive the following disbursements from the Carmel Support for the Arts Fund:
- Actors Theatre of Indiana – $110,000
- Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre – $200,000
- Carmel Arts Council – $16,556
- Carmel Clay Historical Society – $25,000
- Carmel Community Players – $15,000
- Carmel Fountain Square Committee – $4,800
- Carmel Symphony Orchestra – $205,000
- Central Indiana Dance Ensemble – $12,000
- Friends Helping Friends – $400
- Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre – $45,000
- Indiana Ballet Conservatory – $20,000
- Indiana Wind Symphony- $ 12,000
- Indianapolis Symphonic Choir – $12,000
- International Talent Academy – $15,000
- Museum of Miniature Houses – $15,000
Respectfully submitted to the Carmel Common Council on this 15th day of April, 2013.