Delaware Theater fights for survival

    Arts and cultural organizations are often one of the first to suffer when budgets are cut and donations dwindle. WHYY’s Bill Cook spoke to the director of one of Delaware’s oldest theaters about survival, and how in tough economic times, the arts are even more important.

    Arts and cultural organizations are often one of the first to suffer when budgets are cut and donations dwindle. WHYY’s Bill Cook spoke to the director of one of Delaware’s oldest theaters about survival, and how in tough economic times, the arts are even more important.

    Listen:
    [audio: arts20090310smyrna.mp3]

    Originally built in 1870 and completely refurbished in 2002, the Smyrna Opera House plays host to a wide variety of artistic endeavors. But in places like Smyrna – and around the country – the funding to keep theaters like this running is shrinking, at a time when it might be needed most. David Keller is the opera house’s Executive Director.

    Keller: We absolutely need to find a release, an artistic release to go and enjoy ourselves and lose ourselves for an hour or two in a play or music or taking in a class or a workshop. And i think you feel better about yourself and you enrich yourself.

    Keller says individual donations are down by about 45 percent.

    More information:
    The next production at the Smyrna Opera House — “The Dinner Party” — is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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