Substantially Reduce Rental & Technician Fees for Performing Arts Centers
  • Petitioned Las Vegas Clark County Library District

This petition was delivered to:

LVCCLD Board of Trustees
Las Vegas Clark County Library District

Substantially Reduce Rental & Technician Fees for Performing Arts Centers

    1. Marci Riedy
    2. Petition by

      Marci Riedy

      Las Vegas, NV

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**In addition to the online signatures, we have over 3,600 paper signatures**

The Las Vegas Clark County Library District (LVCCLD) has always been a source of free and affordable services to all its patrons.  The Performing Arts Centers, as an extension of those library services, have brought high quality reasonably priced family entertainment to our community.  The LVCCLD Board of Trustees recently approved new Performing Arts Center rates for non-profit and community special interest groups that increased theater rental from $10 to $170 per hour and Technician labor from $12 to $40 per hour.  Community user groups cannot afford the increased rental rates and the library’s patrons cannot afford to pay the 2-3 times increased admission ticket prices that would result from the increase.  Beginning May 2012 (after all contracts under the old rates have expired) the Performing Arts Centers will be void of theatrical and musical performances, and Las Vegas will lack even more affordable performing arts in its community.

Signature Productions, a community theater group who has produced full-scale productions at the Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center for the past 17 years, report the increase would be almost 7 times their prior cost.  As an example, their cost for the "The Sound of Music" was $11,012.  Under the new rates, the cost would be $73,810.  The new rates would force them to increase their average adult ticket price from $24 to $60 per ticket (about the same price as entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip) in order to continue to produce shows for the community.

Broadway Bound, a youth organization that produces full-scale musicals twice a year with ticket prices ranging $10-$12, reports the increase to them would be 7 times their prior cost.  Their last production, “Wizard of Oz”, cost $3,700 under the previous rates.  Under the new rates, the 8 show run would cost $27,000; more than the total ticket revenue with 100% of tickets sold leaving no funding for licensing fees, sets or costumes.

Signature Productions, Broadway Bound, and many previous theater groups, musicians, dance companies, music teachers, choirs, and other performing arts and non-profit organizations have not contracted future dates with the library district as the new rates are excessive and unreasonable and make it financially impossible for them to book space.  We understand a reasonable increase may be warranted in the current economic climate.  We ask the Board of Trustees to re-consider the initial pricing recommendation from the Ad-Hoc Committee at the November 9, 2010 Board of Trustees meeting.  As a fair and reasonable compromise by both sides, this petition proposes the following rental fees should be no more than:

•           Performing Arts Center Fee – $50 per hour
•           Technical Staff Fee - $25 per hour

The Board of Trustees intends to "recover 100% of the costs associated with operating and staffing the facilities"[1] with the new price increase.  Their position is that revenue has declined due to the economy and they need to "provide the most important library services to our taxpayers”[2] and operating the Performing Arts Centers is not considered a “core” library service[3].  If so, then why was the capital investment made with taxpayer dollars to build a new Performing Arts Center at the Windmill Library?  As taxpayers we have funded the construction of the theaters, but the current pricing prevents us from utilizing the theaters we have funded because they are too expensive to rent or because the increased cost of an admission ticket is no longer affordable.

The Executive Director has said that only a “small” number of people “benefit from” the productions at the Performing Arts Centers[4]All community members (13 years of age and older per Change.org rules) can make their support known by signing this petition asking the LVCCLD Board of Trustees to substantially reduce the current pricing so the community can continue to enjoy the performing arts in its libraries.  You do not need to be registered with Change.org to use the site to sign this petition.  Please forward this petition to everyone you know and ask for their support.  You can also send a letter to the Board of Trustees voicing your opposition to the increase.  Use our sample wording on the “Petition Letter” tab of this web page or write your own.  The mailing address is as follows:

Las Vegas Clark County Library District
Board of Trustees
Windmill Library
7060 W. Windmill Lane
Las Vegas, Nevada 89113

Performing Arts Centers are located at the following libraries:
Clark County Library - 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119
West Charleston Library - 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146
West Las Vegas Library - 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89106
Summerlin Library - 1771 Inner Circle Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89134
Windmill Library - 7060 W. Windmill Ln., Las Vegas, NV 89113

We will list the other entities affected as we learn of them through your comments.
Please tell the community who you are.  So far the following have commented:
Signature Productions, Broadway Bound, James Seastrand Helping Hands, Clark County Children's Choir, The Austin Dancers Academy, Trudy Marshall-Piano Teacher, Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive, Drama Kids, Las Vegas Highland Dance Association, Las Vegas Ballet Company.

[1] lvccld.org – Library Publications and Policies – Annual Report 2010-11
[2] 2/2/12 Letter from J. Goodrich, LVCCLD Executive Director in response to an opposition letter
[3] 2/2/12 Letter from J. Goodrich, LVCCLD Executive Director in response to an opposition letter
[4] 2/2/12 Letter from J. Goodrich, LVCCLD Executive Director in response to an opposition letter
Note: A copy of this letter can be found under the "Petition Updates" tab of this web page.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Board Votes to Reduce Library Theater Rental Rate

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Success! The library theater rental rate has officially been lowered! There was a large community turnout at the Sept 13 public hearing. Twenty-One (21) citizens addressed the board; all supporting a reduced fee structure. The board voted in favor of reducing the hourly theater rental rate from $170 to $40 per hour. The new fee structure combined is still 3 to 3-1/2 times higher than the original rates, but will allow most performing arts organizations to return to the library theaters and for that, we are tremendously EXCITED and GRATEFUL. But patrons should be aware that performing arts organizations will need to make some tough choices between cutting production costs & increasing ticket prices to cover the still sizeable increase in fees.

      Your signature on this petition made a difference. This would never have happened without your support and the support of the media, City Council & County Commission. And thanks to the library board for responding to the public's concerns.

    2. Library district to revisit fee structure for rental rates

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      See the Summerlin View article on the cover page dated Sep 4th. (2 of 2 Articles published that day). Please attend the Sept 13th 6pm library Public Hearing to be held at the Clark County Library located at 1401 E. Flamingo Road. The library staff is expected to recommend to the board of trustees a lower fee structure for theater rental. You do not need to speak unless you want to. Your presence alone will show the board that you care about this issue.

    3. Revised fee structure could bring theater groups back to libraries

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Las Vegas-Clark County Library District to consider reducing theater rental charges. See the Las Vegas Sun article dated Aug 15th. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/aug/15/revised-fee-structure-could-bring-theater-groups-b/

    4. Attend Public Hearing - Sept 13 at 6pm - Clark County Library

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      The District has advised us that the Theater fees and policies will be discussed during the September 13 library Board of Trustees meeting which will be held at 6pm at the Clark County Library at 1401 E. Flamingo Road. There will be a Public Hearing where the public will be invited to express their position to the Board. Please mark your calendars as this will an EXTREMELY important meeting to attend. NOTE: The Board has not agreed to lower the rates. But by placing this issue as an agenda item they have agreed to discuss the rates and hear what the public has to say. You do not need to speak unless you want to. Your presence alone will show the Board you care about this issue.

    5. City Council Expresses Support during Public Comment

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Several supporters made Public Comment at the City Council meeting today. A video link will be posted when available. The Mayor & Councilpersons were supportive of our issue and have scheduled a couple of meetings with Library District leadership to discuss the issue. The media was there and ran the segment posted below at 5pm, 6pm & 11pm. We're making progress.....

    6. Parents, Students Address City Council About Library Fee Hikes

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      You Ask. We Investigate. Channel 13 Action News segment aired July 18th at 5pm, 6pm & 11pm.

    7. Opposition Building Against Dramatic Theater Rental Fees at Local Libraries

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      This Channel 13 Action News segment aired July 17th at 11pm.

    8. Library District's Theater Rental Fees Back in Spotlight

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      See article in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper dated July 11, 2012

    9. County Commissioners to set Agenda Item to discuss Library Fees

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      We attended the County Commission meeting today and made public comment. We also submitted a copy of the 5,450 petition signatures. The Commissioners were very receptive to our issue and said they would add it as an agenda item to discuss in more detail.

      Follow the link below and go to the VERY end of the document. Click on Public Comment to watch the public comment at the meeting and hear what the Commissioners had to say. The agenda action noted was: "Staff directed to bring back agenda item to discuss rate increase imposed by Clark County Library District to utilize performing arts center."

    10. "LIKE" the Facebook page opposing the increase

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Like and Follow Library Rate Updates on Facebook

    11. ACCESS DENIED to PUBLIC RECORDS

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      See the Library District's written response to a formal Public Records Request where they DENIED access to multiple records requested. The records requested would prove the underutilization of the public spaces. The records would also show that the District's 2013 budget for space rental revenue is the same as the last 3 years and their expenses to operate the spaces are not projected to decrease. Since the revenue is the same and the expenses are the same then the District has accomplished NOTHING in terms of savings to the bottom line with the new price increase. What was the point?

    12. 5,400 SIGNATURES (1,800 online & 3,600 on paper)

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      As of 06/18/12 our volunteers have collected over 3,600 "paper" signatures. These signatures are not included in the online counts so add the two sources together to get an updated signature count. We now have a combined total of **5,400 SIGNATURES** not counting Mrs. Weltman's 500 signatures submitted to the District in early March. We will officially submit the signatures at the next Board of Trustees meeting on July 12th 6pm at the Centenial Hills library. Thanks to everyone for your efforts to get the word out about this issue.

    13. Another Great Turn Out at the June Board of Trustees Meeting

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      We had another great turnout at the June 14th Board of Trustees Meeting of which 15 people made Public Comment. There were representatives from Austin Dancers Academy, Clark County Children's Choir, Las Vegas Highland Dance, Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive, Las Vegas Ballet Company, Broadway Bound, Signature Productions, and Amelia (see her YouTube video link below). Like the last meeting, everyone's comments were very compelling as to why the rates were too high and how important the performing arts are to our community and our children. The Board was advised that we have reached our 5,000 signature goal on our petition and will be submitted to them as well as the City Council and County Commission.

      Public Comment is open to the public so please attend a future meeting and tell the Board how the increase affects you as a member of the community or as an organization.

    14. Attend Board of Trustees meeting July 12th 6pm - Centennial Hills Library

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Please attend the next Board of Trustees meeting July 12th 6pm at the Centennial Hills Library at 6711 N. Buffalo Drive (near where the I 215 and US 95 intersect). Please consider attending this open meeting and signing up for Public Comment.

      You would be allotted 3 minutes to address the Board. Your comments do not need to be memorized. They will in turn not address you back, but your comments will be placed on record. We need to give the Board a constant reminder that the community opposes the magnitude of the increase. If you don't feel comfortable speaking, that's OK too. Please don't feel obligated to sign-up for Public Comment. Your presence alone will show the Board of Trustees that you care about this issue. They need to hear from those patrons in the community who are ultimately affected.

    15. Watch this Inspirational YouTube Documentary by a High School Senior

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Follow Amelia as she details her struggles to get her Senior Project off the ground. She wanted to take her favorite children's book, "Lunch with Aunt Augusta", and turn it into a short play in order to teach children about environmental science and world cultures. She wanted to use a library theater to offer free performances of her play. Her sponsorship/partnership request was denied stating that while her "project had a literary basis it was outside of the scope of their programming goals" because it involved environmental and scientific content and that was not a part of the library's priorities. She then asked how much it cost to rent the space to continue with her project. Her rental fee would be $1,470 + $300 in insurance for a single day. Obviously, it was financially impossible for her to book the space. She wanted to share her love for nature, culture and theater with our community. The new rates and new policies will prevent this.

    16. Great Turn Out at the May Board of Trustees Meeting *Thank You*

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      We had a full house at the May 17th Board of Trustees Meeting of which 16 people made Public Comment (6 of who were kids). There were representatives from James Seastrand Helping Hands, Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive, Las Vegas Ballet Company, Broadway Bound, Signature Productions, Music with Mary, and the Rudy Reuttiger Foundation. Each organization gave a different perspective as to why the performing arts should remain affordable in our libraries. They were all very compelling arguments as to why the rates were too high and how important the performing arts are to our community and our children. We provided the Board an updated signature count on the petition and asked that they review the online comments and hear what the community has to say. Public Comment is open to the public so please attend a future meeting and tell the Board how the increase affects you as a member of the community or as an organization.

      Follow the link below to read the minutes from the meeting

    17. New Library Fees Push Theater Groups Out

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      See news clip from Channel 13 Action News

    18. District's Analysis of User Group Expense is Not Accurate

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      Review letter to the Board providing documentation supporting my Public Comment at the Apr 12 Board Meeting. The analysis completed by District staff does NOT accurately reflect the expenses incurred by outside User Groups. This analysis is in turn what the Board relied upon when voting for the new rates. As one example, the analysis allocated Technician Payroll between User Group and Library Sponsored events based solely on the number of programs and NOT based on whether the Technicians were actually used. The User Groups were billed 4,500 hours for Tech Usage because that is all they actually USED. Yet, the analysis allocated to the User Groups the equivalent of 12,200 hours of Tech payroll. (In short, the analysis gave User Groups 4,500 hours in revenue but 12,200 hours of expense. How is that an accurate analysis?) That is a difference of $300,000 built into the new rates. The letter asks the Board to review the analysis. There has never been a response.

    19. KNPR 88.9 FM Broadcast

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      We were very fortunate for the opportunity to appear on KNPR's State of Nevada Apr 18th to discuss our position on the substantial rate increase to utilize the library's performing arts centers. Ms. Goodrich was pre-taped and was not present during our interview. Please post a comment and tell the community what you think.

    20. Library Budget Crunch Hurting Community Theater

      Marci Riedy
      Petition Organizer

      This article was published in the RJ by theater critic Anthony Del Valle on 4/13/12

    21. Reached 1,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Teresa Staples NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      I bring my granddaughter to plays several times during the year. I will not be able to afford to bring her as often. This has been a great family activity and I hate to see it change. The plays are amzing and perfect for all ages. Please reconsider this unfair increase for the library usage.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Milagros Mollat HENDERSON, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      my son who is mentally challenged always goes there to watch your productions and the prices are so reasonable especially during these hard economic times.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rebecca Miller LAS VEGAS, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      I enjoy the various non-profit theater productions I've seen at the Las Vegas library performing arts venues. They are affordable and I can support many different groups throughout the year with my attendance.

      I was under the impression the LVCCLD venues were to provide opportunities to the non-profit performing art groups, not to make a profit themselves. If they're out have the performing groups cover all the costs, then I expect the venues will go empty and no one will benefit.

      I'm not in on all the monetary issues involved but I have been talking with three different theater groups using these venues and all three will not be able to perform if the rates are raised as proposed. That leads me to believe the LVCCLD must have some higher paying events lined up to replace these groups that are leaving. If the LVCCLD doesn't, then they are actually going to be bringing in less revenue with the increase.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shawn Martin LAS VEGAS, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      Art = Life

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Masako Sullivan LAS VEGAS, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      I enjoyed all the show. I am so sad if we can't see the show anymore.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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