HACC halts 45-year run of performing artist series


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – HACC will discontinue its Live at Rose Lehrman entertainment series after March 2020 due to financial losses and increased competition from other performing arts venues, the community college announced Friday.

According to a HACC news release, total expenses for the performing arts series were over $3.9 million in the last 10 years, while total revenue during the same time period was about $1.7 million.

During the same 10-year period, HACC said it contributed more than $2.2 million out of its operating budget to offset losses for an average of $221,000 annually to maintain the series.

Additionally, ticket sales over the last eight years show a 70.8% decline in average attendance, the college said.

The average attendance per show in 2011-12 was approximately 343 people, with eight of the 12 events sold out. The average attendance per show in 2018-19 was about 200 people, with none of the six events sold out.

HACC President John Sygielski said the decision to end Live at Rose Lehrman is among many necessary steps the college is taking to be fiscally responsible.

The decision to end Live at Rose Lehrman’s 45-year run will not affect HACC’s academic arts programs, HACC Theatre, HACC Theatre for Young People, and the Rose Lehrman Art Gallery, the news release states.

Those programs will continue to be housed in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on HACC’s Harrisburg Campus, and the center will remain a hub for college events and activities hosted by outside organizations.

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