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FIRST LOOK BUZZ >> continued from page 21


LILACS to Rep. Linden Bateman,


R-Idaho Falls, for calling on the State Board of Education to include cursive handwriting in Idaho’s core curriculum. A lot of school-age kids can’t write cursive at all, and many would be hard pressed to read it, at least not without a lot of strain. When I was a kid, we could detect an older person’s writing by the way they flourished the letter “t” at the end of a word. Now you can tell if someone is older by the fact that they write at all. Neat handwriting is a pleasure to behold, and can aid in learning. Remember writing words in the air with our fingers in order to learn them for spelling tests? It’s not so easy to finger-write in print!


LEMONS to Washington State Department of Revenue for charging music venues retroactively with an “Opportunity to Dance” tax. After the venues lawfully paid all their taxes, the state is asking them to cough up huge retroactive taxes if the venues allowed anyone to dance. Even if no one danced, but there is a space where someone could dance, they are being charged. This kind of nonsense from the state, which is desperate to collect tax money, is militant legal robbery. A bill has been introduced to stop this practice, which will close some venues and increase ticket prices. Write your legislator!


LILACS to the City of Spokane for finally making a realistic and meaningful attempt to


improve our downtown entrances, or at least to bring the issue up. With potential suggested sites like the vacant Trade Winds motel on Third and Lincoln, and the hole in the ground that once held a beautiful church (we Lemoned its demise several years ago) on Third at Lincoln, the City seems to at least be discussing giving us something inspiring and beautiful to look at as we exit the freeway, instead of a view straight out of a third world country.


means that we have the costs of building sets, hiring de- signers and maintaining an artistic vision, not just renting out the building to touring or visiting companies. Tus we need the financial stability that only a supportive commu- nity can provide.” Community support is already strong in the area of seats


filled for each performance. Audience atendance is slightly up, as is the subscription list, both of which are meaningful in the difficult economy. “What is telling is that our young audience is increasing,” says Brown. As with essentially all American non-profit performing


arts centers though, earned income, or ticket sales, can only generate about 50 to 60 percent of the necessary revenues to operate. Interplayers has for a number of years only re- ceived 10 to 20 percent of their income from donations and other non-earned income sources, so the management was too frequently scrambling and working in a reactive fash- ion. “We intend to be pro-active rather than reactive in our


programming, and that means that we need continuing funds,” says Brown. Tis is not the first time Interplayers has faced financial


problems, but each time is equally as challenging. “Our decision over this past year to not commit too much at- tention to fund raising was purposeful. We wanted to be a strong organization that could efficiently handle all of our revenues, both earned and non-earned donations,” says Brown. “We made a firm commitment to being pro- active and budget centered, rather than reactive and crisis- driven, as is the practice of some non-profit organizations that work day by day. We intend to operate with both short term and long term plans so that we can be calm and make good decisions.” Te best-laid plans are never glitch free, meaning there


LEMONS to the Washington State Patrol for issuing one of our employees a ticket on the freeway in mid-state, not for speeding, not for drunk driving, not for littering, not for driving without headlights, not for driving too slow, not for failing to signal, but for something as innocuous as driving in the left lane! It seems that the left lane is supposed to be reserved for passing only. No one in our office had heard of such a rule; so why the $120 ticket on an obscure rule? Why not a warning? The state must really need money to be fleecing us like this. We do understand that it’s dangerous to pass on the right, but it also seems like all those cars in the right hand lane wear the asphalt down way too fast, leaving ruts that make one prefer driving in the left lane!


L I LACS


to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) for their decision to begin opening on Sundays. If tourists can’t find them on one of their primary visiting days, a day that many view as a “family” day, then how many may never form lasting memories, and never return at all?


22 SPOKANE CDA • March • 2013


can be unexpected challenges that arise. Interplayers has experienced several challenges this year, which have in- spired them all the more to get the theater on track and thriving. Some challenges are personal: One of Interplay- ers’ beloved actors suffered a fatal heart atack during a final rehearsal. Out of respect to his memory, they decided to cancel the production run. Some challenges are technical: Tey are using a lot of technical equipment that is very old, but their technical staff is industrious and they are looking toward a few specific grants to replace things. “Of course the entire nation has faced difficult financial times and has had to think how to be efficient and creative, and listen carefully to the public,” says Brown. Te staff and Board at Interplayers have taken a year


to thoroughly organize, digitize, enhance and archive, ac- cording to Brown. “We did not want to request funds from businesses that value well-run businesses until we had our ducks in a row,” she says. “We now have excellent records of Board business, financial business, cost accounting, inter-


>> continued on page 24


LILACS & LEMONS


by Vincent Bozzi


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