Ordway Center cuts $5 million from budget

Posted on: September 15, 2009

In Thursday’s (9/10) Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Rohan Preston reports, “The Ordway Center in St. Paul has pared $5 million from its $19 million annual budget. The cuts bring the center’s 2009-2010 budget to just less than $14 million. Ordway officials on Wednesday cited a variety of factors that guided the budget-cutting decisions. The performing-arts venue replaced its mainstage floor this summer, which meant that it was dark during this spell. Year-to-year programming changes also mean fewer performances and shorter runs of some shows. And the company has made cuts to deal with the recession, including reducing the salaries of its top staffers, trimming employee benefits and not filling vacant positions. The Ordway has 60 full-time employees. … Before the economic downturn the Ordway and its arts partners had announced a major expansion to replace the 306-seat McKnight Theater with an 1,100-seat concert hall that would be the primary home of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, one of the Ordway’s major tenants. Those plans now have a longer time horizon. … Despite the expense cuts, the Ordway ‘will batten down and focus on our mission,’ [President and CEO Patricia] Mitchell said. ‘The building is not made of sugar cubes, and we will not melt in the much-needed rain.’ ”

Posted September 15, 2009