One of Arkansas’ premier cultural venues will be postponing all of its large-scale programming until January 2021.
The Walton Arts Center announced on Tuesday, July 7 that it will be postponing its Broadway shows and other events of more than 200 people until January 2021. Originally, the venue’s 2020-21 season was set to kick-off in September. However, it has been rescheduled to begin in 2021.
According to a company news release, My Fair Lady’s performance dates will be moved to July 28-Aug. 1, and An Officer and a Gentleman’s performance dates will be moved to March 30-April 4. Final schedule adjustments will be forthcoming for Mean Girls and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Several shows, including Fiddler on the Roof, Come From Away, and Freestyle Love Supreme are currently unaffected.
“It will be some time before we can resume business as usual at our venues,” Peter Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center, said in a statement. “Because each show involves several hundred cast and crew members and draws thousands of audience members, it is almost impossible to socially distance and remain safe. The health and safety of our audience, performers and staff are our top priorities.”
As a result of event cancellations and postponments, the Walton Arts Center and Walmart AMP will be facing a $1 million operating deficit. To combat this loss, the company has launched the Ghost Light Recovery Fund, which is designed to “offset lost revenue, continue education and intermission programming, maintain facilities and support staff until full-scale performances can resume.”
In recent months, the Walton Arts Center has received more than $534,000 in donations.