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Another Evanston Landmark Shortchanged - Taxpayers, got $26,000,000*?

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We citizens have much to lose if the City promises a $26 million* long term subsidy – that it can't afford - to Piven Theatre Workshop, one of the many talented arts organizations calling Evanston home. For the next 50 years, the deal creates a massive deficit that will be imposed upon already overburdened Evanston taxpayers.

Options exist to revitalize Noyes that actually create money, allowing continued capital improvements at Noyes and more City goals to be funded.

We should not bear the burdens of this misguided proposal. Let your Alderman, friends and neighbors know you favor responsible City planning by demanding a better plan for Noyes!

Join us to protest at the July 8, 2013 City Council meeting – sign up to speak and make your concerns heard.

SUPPORT THE ARTS – RESPONSIBLY!

Citizens For Noyes

*Rent lost by proceeding with the Piven expansion proposal amounts to $160,000 per year in present day dollars.

If adjusted for inflation:

@3.22% the total value of LOST rent comes to $18 million over the length of the agreement.

@4% the total value of LOST rent comes to $26 million over the length of the agreement.

@5% the total value of LOST rent comes to $32 million over the length of the agreement.  5% has been the actual average rent increase over the last 30 years.

 

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Background
For over 40 years the Noyes Cultural Art Center (NCAC) has been home to artistically and culturally diverse artists and arts groups who have consistently enriched life in our Evanston community.

The Piven Expansion Proposal before City Council calls for the City to give Piven Theatre Workshop a $2.2 million dollar loan and three times their current square footage in Noyes Center, for $1 a year, equal to $26 million in rent relief during their lease. It is a huge show of support for the Arts in Evanston - which is laudable. But it creates a huge unfunded deficit in Noyes Center and City finances – which is not.

Why is the City offering Piven a deal Evanston simply cannot afford? We have not seen any budgets indicating how the Noyes building will be subsidized and sustained if the Piven plan goes through. Where will this money come from? What other projects will be sacrificed to give $26 million dollars to Piven?

We oppose the Piven Expansion Proposal because:
• Financially and artistically viable alternative proposals exist that will not be considered unless the current proposal is deferred or defeated. Until now Noyes Center has covered both its annual operating expenses and produced a surplus.

• Unlike other major Arts initiatives (NEA study, EvanStarts, etc.) the Noyes project has never been brought into city wide arts planning nor has it been vetted by independent auditors.

• Piven financial projections are not backed by comprehensive marketing or business plans: construction costs alone appear grossly understated while financial benefits to the City appear overstated.

• Piven will earn thousands in rental income while paying token rent themselves, creating a 200-seat state-of-the-art theater not justified by their limited productions and attendance.

Recent articles:
Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-31/entertainment/ct-ae-0602-jones-20130531_1_byrne-piven-joyce-piven-artists

Evanston Roundtable:
http://www.evanstonroundtable.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=7318&SectionID=15&SubSectionID=26&S=1

Noyes History: http://www.cityofevanston.org/arts-culture/noyes-cultural-arts-center/history/

 



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