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State of the Englert

Inspiring Art in Uncertain Times
April 18, 2020

In brief…

  • Our building is closed until further notice.
  • We face a revenue shortfall of $385,213 which represents 20 percent of our annual budget.
  • We are excited to continue working with artists to produce amazing art like this. Stay tuned for more!
  • Can you help? Contribute to our Friends Program or buy gift cards for you or a friend to use later.

Friends & Neighbors,

We are thinking about you: wishing you health, safety, and good spirits during this challenging, uncertain period.

Like so many of our fellow downtown businesses and nonprofits, the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our plans for a vibrant 2020. The situation has placed undue pressure on our mission-based work and model for viability.

With our doors rightfully closed we have cleared an exceptionally robust spring calendar of community partnerships, Englert-presented shows, and our premier spring event — Mission Creek Festival. That amounts to the removal of 33 regular engagements plus nearly 40 individual events within the festival.

The Challenge

Our organization will sustain an expected shortfall of $385,213 in gross earned revenue for the March-May period, which is traditionally one of our strongest seasons of each year. This represents 20% of our gross revenue for the year. Furthermore, we don’t know how long it will be until we can safely welcome patrons back in our space and a delay in our reopening would further increase our expected shortfall.

We have experienced both good and bad cycles in the past, though this is entirely new territory for our small nonprofit. To meet our challenge we are exploring all avenues for relief: favorable loan opportunities, local and national grants, and organizational restructuring.

The loss of work has already severely undercut our part-time, hourly staff who serve as house managers, production assistants, and concessionaires for events. Our full-time staff will adopt reduced hours–ranging from moderate reductions to furloughs–as part of our plan to survive this year. We recently received a loan through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program which will greatly assist with our payroll commitments through May. We expect full-time staffing reductions to begin in the summer when that bridge funding expires.

The Opportunity

The economic and strategic challenges facing our organization are real. Yet, our commitment to activate and inspire positive community growth through the arts is fully intact. In fact, this is what keeps us moving forward: embracing the charge of providing joy and wonder for our community in difficult times.

We are adapting very quickly: With Mission Creek Festival postponed to the fall, we have instead released a series of videos called Mission Creek Underground which showcases Iowa-based musicians and writers sharing their beautiful work in solitude for a virtual audience.

Our team is currently collaborating (from a distance) on other artistic and cultural experiences we can create with and for our community as we navigate this new era. Stay tuned for the next virtual program soon. We might not have our stages but we can still have art.

How To Help

Donate Today »

Buy Gift Card »We are inspired by our community’s voices. Drop us a line and let us know how you are doing. Send any questions, recommendations, or reflections to info@englert.org.

We have significant economic challenges to overcome. If capacity allows, you can help in a number of ways:

Look for further updates about our progress during this time. We will remain strong in spirit as we face this difficult year and wish you the best in your journey as well.

Andre Perry
Executive Director