The theater owes the spectators tickets for missed performances at the end of last season at 88,000 euros, while the total deficit in the theater budget exceeds half a million euros, but he did not reveal the exact amount demanded from the state in the negotiations.
According to the annual report of “Liepājas teātra”, in 2019 the budget of the theater was 2.03 million euros, which consisted of a grant of Liepāja municipality in the amount of 1.23 million euros, while the revenue from ticket sales reached 748,253 euros.
Deksnis pointed out that several scenarios for the future are currently being evaluated.
“If in September everything stands in its place and the theater has the opportunity to play performances, then the situation is one. If very specific restrictions remain in place and the operation is difficult, then every month causes losses,” Deksnis said.
He revealed that the theater has completely changed the plan of new productions and large-format productions are not feasible in the current situation.
“The theater is very active in thinking about what kind of repertoire to offer in the new season, so for my part I say with full confidence that the theater has done everything to minimize the expenses,” said Deksnis. “Every new production, every activity is evaluated with great care against what this new season could be like. Most likely, the season will pass us in small format performances.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Liepāja City Council said that no concrete solutions have been announced from the Ministry of Culture (MoC) for supporting the Liepāja Theater, however, he looks forward to next week, when another meeting with the representatives of the Ministry is planned.
“I express my personal opinion that we are in such a situation [ka Liepājas teātris tiek slēgts] we must not come, “said Deksnis.” We continue the dialogue with the state, we continue the dialogue with the theater. I definitely want to believe that the theater will continue to operate, but what the theater’s new season has to offer will, of course, depend on the funding available. “
Lita Kokale, Head of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Culture, reminded that in order to mitigate the negative consequences of the Covid-19 crisis in the cultural sector, the Ministry of Culture has received additional funding from the State Cultural Capital Fund (SCCF) through several new target programs.
Both state and municipal cultural institutions, as well as entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations will be able to apply for projects in the new target programs. The SCCF has been invited to apply for support, and the Ministry of Culture has expressed its determination to do so, including the Liepaja Theater, Kokale reminded.
Although the Ministry of Culture does not directly have the opportunity to support a municipal capital company such as the Liepāja Theater and provide equivalent support to the state-owned theaters from the state borrowed funds to reduce the negative effects of Covid-19 in the cultural sector, the Ministry of Culture has sent the theater the same financial table , which were filled in by all state theaters, in order to understand exactly what difficulties the influence of Covid-19 caused in Liepāja Theater. “After receiving and evaluating the financial data in the first half of August, we will sit at the same table with the owner of the theater – Liepāja municipality – and look for a solution,” Kokale said.
The Ministries of Culture and Finance have also called on the Liepāja City Council to consider and, if necessary, use the support options for municipal capital companies provided for in the Law “On Measures to Prevent and Overcome State Threats and Consequences Due to the Spread of Covid-19”. -19 share capital of crisis-affected capital companies, thus providing financial resources for their maintenance expenses, Kokale said.
She informed that from the owner of the Liepāja theater – Liepāja municipality – no concrete solutions have been announced so far regarding support for its capital company.
There are two professional groups in Liepāja – Liepāja Theater, whose legal status is a municipal capital company, and VSIA “Liepāja Symphony Orchestra”, which has the status of a state capital company. In the economic crisis that affected Latvia in 2009, the State KM assumed responsibility for the future activities of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, while the Liepāja Municipality – for the Liepāja Theater, reminded the KM representative.
In case Liepāja Theater does not receive financial support to eliminate the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, it may have to be suspended already in October. Liepāja Theater is a municipal capital company, therefore it did not receive financial support from the government to eliminate the consequences of the crisis caused by Covid-19.
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