BAM Cancels Remaining Spring Programming Through June
BAM today announced that it has made the difficult decision to cancel programming and events through June. The decision was made in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and out of concern for the health and safety of its community and all New Yorkers during this unprecedented health crisis.
Canceled programs include the remainder of theater, dance, music, and visual art events in the spring "Yours Theirs Ours" season; programs for families, seniors, and students; the annual BAMcinemaFest; and the DanceAfrica Festival-marking the first cancellation of BAM's longest running program in 43 years.
The cancellation of programming means an estimated loss of $7.4 million in ticket revenue through June 30. Given those losses, BAM said it is faced with a number of difficult options to ensure its financial stability and ability to invest in programming going forward.
Those options include program reductions, furloughs, staff lay-offs, and reduced pay for administrative and executive staff. The executive staff has agreed to a reduction in compensation of 30%, with a 40% reduction for the president. Every staff member will be impacted by cost-cutting measures under consideration.
BAM President Katy Clark said, "We recognize that we are confronted with difficult and painful decisions to ensure our future. Throughout its 159-year history, BAM has faced many great challenges. The shared sacrifices we undertake now will enable us to resume programming when it is safe and prudent to do so, and to once again provide the range of experiences that make BAM a loved and cherished cultural institution."
BAM Board Chair Adam E. Max said, "Along with many of our peer arts institutions, BAM is experiencing a period of financial loss, uncertainty, and extraordinary challenge. We are pleased that many donors have stepped forward to make initial gifts or increase their donations. And many ticket holders have already donated their tickets to canceled programs. We urge our thousands of supporters to follow their lead."
Ms. Clark added, "We are committed to doing whatever we can to support New York City during this crisis. While the financial burdens are significant, our primary concern is the health and safety of our employees, our audiences, and our community. We are confident about BAM's future and we will work together to rebuild our vibrant arts community."
While its theaters and cinemas are closed, BAM is offering curated digital content in a series called "Love from BAM", featuring archived performances and talks, as well as films streamed through partnerships with distributors. Visit BAM.org for information.
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