POUGHKEEPSIE – The organization that owns the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie and the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston has lost $2.2 million this year because of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
Their executive director, Chris Silva, is hopeful they will be able to reopen for live audiences by September 2021.
In the meantime, Silva said they are streaming previously live events with much interest.
“We are producing dozens of programs. In fact, we are reshowing, we have recordings of ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘Messiah,’ and ‘Christmas Carol’ from last year that we are going to stream, and it is crazy online. ‘Nutcracker’ has like, a million people interested in it. It has gone completely viral. ‘The Messiah,’ we thought was the big winner at a half-million, but as soon as we put ‘Nutcracker’ out there,” he said, the numbers increased.
All of those online offerings are free with some people making donations.
Silva said it is costing the group $75,000 per month just to keep the buildings functioning.
He said The Bardavon, UPAC, and other upstate performing arts venues “are at the heart of their cities and are a vital component to their quality of life in their communities.”
Silva said they need support from Albany to design a plan to move forward to save the venues and the cultural and economic activity they offer.