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Atlanta Arts Organizations React to Closure of Lyric Theatre

In the wake of the closure of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Atlanta arts organizations like Voices of Note are urging the community to support the arts with a five-pronged plan.

On March 7, the Lyric announced that it would be closing after 42 years.

“Like many similar organizations, the Lyric has experienced a significant drop in overall attendance in the wake of the pandemic,” the theatre wrote on their website. “We have tried to respond to this challenge over the course of the last several months, and we greatly appreciate your patience and support as we cancelled shows and reworked the season.  Despite our best efforts, we have arrived at the point where we must face facts: our financial resources are not sufficient to finish the current season, or embark on the next, which would have been our 43rd.  Consequently, the Board has voted to dissolve the organization.”

In an open letter to the community, the Managing Leaders Group, a group of Managing Directors and leaders from several Atlanta arts organizations, reacted to the “devastating” news of the closure by penning an open letter detailing a five-pronged approach “to fundamentally change how arts and culture are supported in the city.”

“Not only is [the Lyric] closing a loss for our vibrant industry, it is also an indicator that if left unchecked, the crisis in the theatre and arts sectors caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns will continue to ravage our community,” the letter reads.

The group offered a five-step suggestion for increasing arts support in the city: having major philanthropic foundations and philanthropists to make a one-time gift to every arts organization in Atlanta; doubling the grant-making capacity of the city, county, and state arts offices; asking the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta to hire an arts program director and provide them adequate staff and resources; asking that the production tax credit granted to the film and television industry be extended to non-profit arts organizations; and calling upon production and media companies based in Georgia to advocate for increased arts funding and create deeper working relationships between for-profit and non-profit arts organizations.

You can read the full open letter and donate to Voices of Note here.