Can you provide an overview of the current state of affairs at Overture?
• Overture’s funders and patrons have been extremely supportive, understanding and patient. Many patrons have donated the value of tickets for canceled shows as a gift to Overture.
• These are completely unprecedented times, there is no template to follow. We are forecasting a variety of both short- and long-range scenarios.
• We are revising and updating our financial projections based on the best and most current information available.
• We realize we are in an adaptive environment and must be prepared to make decisions based on changing information.
• Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will be closed until further notice. Currently, all scheduled events through June are canceled.
• Essential employees are working from home. We have laid off some of our employees, which we hope is temporary.
• We have applied for available government funding.
• Arts organizations have been hit hard across the nation. New York City is the epicenter of arts and the epicenter of the virus outbreak. This will impact Broadway and other theatrical productions. They will be slow to recover and start touring again. Musical acts will be able to recover more quickly.
• Overture’s senior leadership team is connected to their counterparts nationwide and are sharing information and best practices.
What are your predictions for the future?
• Overture will eventually emerge from this stronger for the ways this closure has inspired us to rethink how we can best serve or mission and the community.
• The arts will be instrumental to helping us heal.
• We expect that we will need to make schedule adjustments and will continue to adjust our decision-making based on the latest information.
• Audiences will be interested in returning. We know that they may be fewer at first. This will impact our decision-making and future planning.
What shows are canceled because of the outbreak?
Our website has the most up-to-date information on the status of all performances.
Is there a chance that any of these shows, particularly Wicked, might come back for a shorter run during the 2020/21 season since they were cut short by COVID-19?
All Broadway tours that were canceled or postponed this spring/early summer are adjusting their schedules. We always try for a reschedule over a cancelation. With regard to Wicked the show schedules their tour over multiple years. Rescheduled dates are harder for them to accomplish. At this time there is no plan to bring Wicked back next season.
If COVID-19 surges again this fall, do you have a plan for some of the shows on the 2020/21 schedule?
If cases surge in fall, we are prepared to respond accordingly both by adjusting our operations and by making adjustments to the schedule. We, along with our partners, have learned well the need to be flexible during this crisis.
When you do reopen, what precautions do you plan to take?
The health and safety of our guests is a top priority. Overture Center has always and will continue to comply with all public health recommendations and be proactive in making our building safe for guests to enjoy our shows, galleries and community events. Before the Safer at Home mandate we took the opportunity to deep clean the building and address maintenance projects to support a healthy reopening. The best practices we adopted before our closure will be restored when we reopen.
What are the options for patrons when a show is canceled?
Patrons have an option for donating their ticket to Overture, receiving a credit for future shows, or receiving a refund. When people donate their ticket, the funds help support our community programs and continue to make it possible for schools, families and individuals of all ages to engage in the arts. For rescheduled shows patrons may keep their tickets for the show or request donation, credit or refund.
How are you raising money?
Our spring match campaign is currently underway with our Corporate Champion, Bell Laboratories, and Local Legend, Dianne Christensen (in honor Sandra Gajic). Gifts (up to $200,000) made through June 30 will be matched. In other words, during the next three months, every dollar donated will be matched, doubling the impact
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