Park City Institute nears goal to keep going | ParkRecord.com

Park City Institute nears goal to keep going

Photojournalist Brian Skerry responds to questions during a Q&A session following his presentation about his work in the world's oceans during the Park City Institute's presentation of National Geographic Live! Ocean Soul with Brian Skerry at the Eccles Center Saturday evening, December 29, 2018. Skerry, who was recently recognized as National Geographic Explorer of the Year, is also a 2014 National Geographic Photography Fellow and winner of 11 awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
Photo by Tanzi Propst/Park Record

It appears that the Park City Institute will continue its mission to entertain, educate and illuminate its audiences after Parkites rallied to raise funds in the face of a dire financial forecast. The nonprofit was on course to get within striking distance of its goal of raising $250,000 by the end of the day on Monday, Dec. 31.

By 11:30 a.m. Monday, the institute was still short $53,000 with a little more than 12 hours to go, but Executive Director Teri Orr said the nonprofit will be able to present the rest of its current season.

“We are trying to restructure some things by working out payment plans for these artists,” Orr said. “Luckily, we have good relationships with agents and vendors.”

The restructuring has given the Park City Institute a little leeway to raise the remaining money, according to Orr.

“We also have money that due to us during the first quarter, so once we get to January, things will be a little different for us,” she said. “We’re going to work through this.”

The private donations began coming in midway through December.

The largest gift to date was a sum of $5,000 from an anonymous donor. Other donors have given up to $1,000.

Many of these gifts have come from other organizations and included notes of support, Orr said

“It’s a small town, and we all try to lift each other up,” she said.

Some of the donations have also come from people who benefit from the PCI’s practice of giving free tickets to those who may not be able to afford them.

“A lot of those folks; senior citizens and people who appreciate what we do for students, have been very supportive right now,” she said. “This was a pleasant, unexpected surprise. We just wanted to invite these people to the theater.”

Earlier this month the nonprofit announced it needed to raise the money by Dec. 31 in order to continue operations.

This past year, Park City institute accrued extra costs to maintain its St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert season as it dealt with venue relocations, the construction of pop-up stages and transporting concert-goers to the venues.

“This year has been the most difficult in our more than 20-year existence,” Orr said then.

For the past 20 years, the Park City Institute has brought a variety of high profile performers and speakers to town. On Saturday, before a presentation by National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, Orr took the stage to announce that the PCI was $60,000 short of its goal.