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              Arts & Culture continued

              consortium of the top 32 largest venues across North  those were changes that originated as a response to an
              America. The Center is just coming off it’s most successful  immediate threat and then became part of our procedures.
              season ever and had planned a thriving, off-season    We learned a lot from those experiences and how to
              calendar featuring folk music, international dance, the  prepare for that type of eventuality, and we made that part
              Broward Speaker Series and the Amaturo Theater        of our on-going procedures with budgets and planning.
              Children’s tours. The expanded, riverfront property was a  One thing we didn’t learn from it, however, was how to
              signature venue for community workshops, graduations,  respond to any kind of event that would have us shut down
              weddings and special events.                          for this long of an unknown period of time.”
              “From an industry perspective, as a group who depends on  “Learning how to react to a sustained situation has
              touring productions, hundreds of staff members with highly  highlighted not only deficiencies in capital resources for
              technical skills, from different states, requiring nationwide  arts organizations, but the undercapitalization of the arts
              logistics of multiple venues, booked months in advance,  sector as a whole”
              we’ve had to accept that until there are enough cities,  “We’ve got to find better ways to stabilize the arts
              solidly on the other side of this we won’t be able to mount  community. Some arts organizations will not be there if
              block-buster shows,”  Shanely explains.
                                                                    there isn't support from the community and those who can
              “What’s happened is that production teams have looked  step in and help them get to the other side,” says Shanley.
              around the country and determined that there is no reliable  “It’s a really tough time for our employees and vendors,
              route for them to tour any time in the near future; almost all  there have been pay cuts, furloughs, cancelled budgets
              have pulled themselves out of dates in 2020 and even later  and timetables for any new planning. We are all suffering
              into 2021. Until there are enough cities, the tours won’t  as humans in isolation, caregiving, stressed. They have
              come back out on the road,” predicts Shanely.
                                                                    shown incredible resourcefulness and resilience; I couldn’t
              We have spent a lot of time learning how to do things  be more proud of them. I hope we get to the other side of
              safely in this environment. There will be convergence  this, it's an awesome team for doing what we’re doing for
              among arts groups. For example, if we were able to    the community,” says Shanley.
              operate theaters again but tours were not available, we
                                                                    The refurbished Parker Playhouse is small success story and
              could work with art presenters or local groups like youth  future venue. Previously budgeted and funded through a
              and dance. We can work together to put things on our
                                                                    decade long expansion program, the renovations are
              stages, with a lot less volume than normal; focused on local  continuing without delay. “It’s the one thing that has not
              enclaves while we wait for tours to get back on the road. I
                                                                    been interrupted!” says Shanley smiling. “Construction has
              expect that to be happening across the country if we can  continued and is on schedule and it’s beginning to take
              do it – those things will come together pretty evenly and we
                                                                    shape. The timing for the second phase was almost perfect,
              can plan for short-term openings, based on each       we were scheduled to close the building from April to
              community. Any chance we have with our limited
                                                                    December, so this was paid for and fully funded. Our
              resources, we will try to meet the objectives.”
                                                                    incredible staff, The City of Fort Lauderdale and the
              “The Broward Center is better prepared than we have ever  people, supporters of Broward Center should be very with
              been. We’re learning a lot in this process as well. The  this happy ending: on time and on budget.”
              biggest surprise from managing a large arts organization  Thankfully, that has made the Broward Center a more
              through a pandemic is, if you look at things that have
                                                                    healthy, viable venue for artists touring locally and continue
              occurred in the past such as security in the last 18 years,
                                                                    the legacy of local cultural success for the future.

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