The Schwartz Center for the Arts will close June 30

Although the fate of the Schwartz Center for the Arts has been in doubt for some time, a press release from the center has confirmed it will shut down operations at the end of this month.

“After 17 years of operation, it is with great sadness I report that the Schwartz Center for the Arts will close its doors June 30, 2017,” Tracey Miller, president of the Friends of the Capitol Theater announced in a June 8 press release.

Miller blamed a lack of funding as the reason for shutting down.

“While ticket sales have increased significantly, overall revenue has not been enough to sustain the business,” she said. “With looming cuts to art and education funding within the state and the overwhelming cost of overhead on the building we are forced to close the theater.

“The theater has done well this last year but has run out of money and time. The board of the theater has worked tirelessly this past year to find a way to keep the non-profit solvent and relevant,” she added.

The board of directors considered alternatives, such as turning the center into a school during the week and sponsoring entertainment on the weekends to only being open once a quarter for large shows like the Lip Sync Battle or a community ballet, she said.

“The money just isn’t there to sustain us through down times,” Miller said.

“I believe this is a huge loss for the community as well as the state,” she continued. “It is my hope that someone or some entity finds it important enough to support the arts, culture and entertainment needs of the city and steps up to reopen the center.”

Having arts and cultural centers are not free, but are worth the investment, but the support simply was not there, she said.

“To be able to continue our endeavor it would have required substantial and ongoing support from the city, the county, the state as well as and especially the community.”