Record editorial: Pandemic has thrown Park City’s arts nonprofits into tumult, too
Another week, another spate of news proving that it will be an unusual summer in Park City.
On Monday, the nonprofit Park City Institute announced the cancellation of its popular Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series, which had been slated to light up the Eccles Center this summer. A day later, Deer Valley Resort followed with news of its own, saying it will not host any summer shows at the Snow Park Amphitheater, a move that affects Mountain Town Music and the Utah Symphony, both nonprofits, in addition to the resort’s own concert lineup.
The cancellations were not surprising, given that county officials have indicated in recent weeks that large gatherings are unlikely to be allowed through the rest of the year. Packing hundreds or thousands of people into any concert venue while maintaining social distancing would be challenging, at the very least.
But for the nonprofits that put on the summer shows, the cancellations leave an amphitheater-sized blemish on their bottom lines. Mountain Town Music says not being able to hold large concerts this summer will cost it $150,000. The Park City Institute, likewise, has indicated in the past that the Big Stars, Bright Nights series accounts for a significant portion of its annual budget.
The situation underscores the threat the pandemic represents to Park City’s arts nonprofits, which have taken a massive hit alongside the for-profit business community.
As soon as the coronavirus began forcing event cancellations in mid-March, it was obvious that arts organizations would lose revenue. What wasn’t clear, though, was how long the jolt would last. Hopes that the coronavirus-fighting measures would cause only a short-term blip have faded, and we now know that the pandemic is not going away soon.
Parkites, then, need to rally around the arts organizations, patronizing them when possible and making donations if they can.
The groups are not on the front lines of the pandemic like the Christian Center of Park City or the Park City Community Foundation. But the arts nonprofits stitch together the fabric of our town, their contributions difficult to overstate.
Imagine the landscape without the Park City Institute. Or the Kimball Art Center. Or the Egyptian Theatre. The list goes on.
The spirit of Park City would be worse off, indeed.
Joyous times await on the other side of this crisis. Music will one day echo through our mountains again, Parkites packed in tight to share the experience with one another. But until that happens, let’s do what we can to ensure that the nonprofits that have enriched our community for so long can continue doing so long after we have emerged from the pandemic.
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