Substantially Reduce Rental & Technician Fees for Performing Arts Centers

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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 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 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] – 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.

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