Carrie Rengers

Closing CityArts boutique and gallery is possible cost-saving option for city

Closing the gallery and boutique at CityArts is one possible cost savings the Wichita City Council will consider to make up the city's $3 million budget shortfall.
Closing the gallery and boutique at CityArts is one possible cost savings the Wichita City Council will consider to make up the city's $3 million budget shortfall. Eagle file

Among the many ways the city is looking to recoup a $3 million deficit in operating revenue is the possible closure of the boutique and gallery within CityArts.

"I'd say it's too early to get too concerned with it at this point," says John D'Angelo, the city's manager of arts & cultural services.

"They're just looking at alternatives," he says. "What kind of changes could be made to the CityArts operation . . . that would achieve some savings?"

D'Angelo says CityArts costs the city $800,000 annually and recoups only about $300,000 from class fees. The gallery and boutique make $50,000, but artists and the Arts Council share that profit.

"So it's not a lot of money," D'Angelo says. "By no means is . . . that where you're going to save $400,000."

He says the city is preparing decision packages with cost-saving ideas on CityArts and other city operations for City Council members to consider.

"It's not just us. It's everywhere in the city."

The packet on CityArts lists a number of options for saving money.

That includes increased class fees, more event rentals at the Old Town Square space, staff reductions, increased partnerships and privatization.

"So they're going to have lots of choices," D'Angelo says. "We have to look at some kind of reductions."

Though he doesn't know what's going to happen, D'Angelo says the city manager and City Council have some tough decisions ahead.

"I don't envy them for the position they're in."

JoAn McGregor teaches glass fusing at CityArts. (Video by CityArts)

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
  Comments