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Friday, June 4, 2010

NYSTI loses funding

If the saying you can't fight City Hall is true, how powerless are you when fighting the State? Ask NYSTI as the state power structure is moving the theater organization towards its endgame.

Because NYSTI has not been included in Governor David Paterson's budget extender bill request he sent to the legislature, funds will stop flowing to the Troy-based theater company on June 9. I suppose the company could continue to function past Wednesday if the staff is willing to work without pay. However, that noble gesture can go on only so long.

NYSTI is currently producing a play, "Alice in Wonderland," at the Russell Sage Little Theater using interns and students from Sage College, and that certainly complicates things, especially since tickets have been sold to school groups. However, since there is little payroll involved for actors and box office receipts should cover production costs, this doesn't appear to be a major crisis.

If this happened in January it would be a different story. The "real" season would be in progress, schools would have booked field trips in advance and expenses would have been generated. The more people hurt means more support for NYSTI.

Staying low-key has hurt the new NYSTI management. As far as I know NYSTI hasn't announced a 2010-2011 season and that's a mistake. It puts NYSTI supporters in a position of defending history, not the future. And that history comes with the baggage left by Patricia Snyder who was tainted by a negative IG report listing many abuses of power.

If NYSTI wants to fight for survival they need to be about the future. That means creating a season as different as possible from what might have been on the schedule were Snyder still running the organization. They need to establish themselves as a new NYSTI without losing the valuable assets of the old NYSTI.

I am afraid it's too late. The powers-that-be want NYSTI gone. It seems clear if you just can't fight City Hall or the State - you certainly can't fight the Powers-That-Be.


Blogger Phana24JG said...

Given NYSTI's record with public funds, under what possible circumstances can you justify giving these bozos one additional dime? If the market and donations do not support NYSTI, why should our scarce resources go this glorified playtime?

June 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM 
Blogger WillFightForTheArts said...

excuse you ?
"glorified playtime" ?
who do you think you are ?
Do you think all theatre is "GLORIFIED PLAYTIME?"
if so you disgust me.
Have you read anything on the situation ? or just the bare minimum. The organization is NOT to blame. You can not blame an entire organization for one persons mistakes.
NYSTI is NOT PLAYTIME. It is a wonderful facility, providing much opportunity for the youth in the community, while also helping to culture the adults in the community. To help them not be so close minded. Have you ever experienced the arts ? Or are you too stuck and set in your ways to even explore something as eye opening as theatre.
This organization gives High School seniors the opportunity to intern with them. To learn and experience theatre in a professional way, to help them figure out if it is indeed a career path they want to choose. NYSTI gives them the opportunity to work with famous Broadway Directors and Lighting Designers... an opportunity which most never experience.
They produce wonderful shows in which school districts bring their kids to see every year. Where someone may be inspired by what they saw, have the chance to experience something they've never felt before.

it's people like you that i worry for. i bet you're the type of person that would cut Arts everywhere if they could. ... do your research and don't believe everything they write in the papers. maybe you should drive to NYSTI and talk with someone who knows, or even call. they'd be happy to talk with you i'm sure.

August 27, 2010 at 7:09 PM 

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