With an underlying theme of gratitude, Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council, Inc. held its annual meeting as a combined virtual and in-person event at the historic Tibbits Opera House Thursday, January 28, 2021.
Despite the challenges of COVID which shut the theatre for months, the organization’s financial position remains strong. The Annual Report for the organization provides a comprehensive view of the year. Most telling are the pages with the list of shows for the year including all of the cancellations. Donations replaced ticket revenue and each person who presented during the meeting reiterated appreciation for the community, the members, the sponsors, the board and staff for all of the support and effort through the year.
Board treasurer Wayne Weaver summed up the year saying, “This is not a business model we want to repeat, but through increased fundraising and a concerted effort to cut expenses, we ended 2018-2019 with a $15,000 loss and this year 2019-2020 we had a $78,000 profit.” Tibbits also received a PPP loan and several emergency grants. Notes on the financial pages of the report express the goal being prepared for continued challenges in 2021 and even into 2022. While restrictions allow the theatre to open to limited capacity, the schedule still remains sparse.
Rick Merrill reviewed the year and the ways Tibbits staff and board adapted and stepped up to keep the theatre strong. He reflected on his three years as president of Tibbits board thanking the other board members and the staff for their support. He recognized retiring board member Polly Locke with a plaque honoring her nine years of service. Also during the meeting, Daniel Gordon, Erin Jansen, Angie Marsh and Cisco Ortiz were elected to the board of directors. John Bolton and Wayne Weaver each renewed their terms.
During the organizational meeting which followed the annual meeting, Chris Donbrock was elected president, John Bolton vice president, Ken Norton treasurer, Joe Hughes secretary and Dave Coyle member-at-large, to serve as the officers and executive committee for the Foundation.
Copies of the Tibbits Opera Foundation Annual Report are available at the administrative office at 93 W. Chicago St. or online at https://tibbits.org/about-tibbits/ under the organizational information tab. For more information on Tibbits or its events visit Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029.