Carmel’s Center for Performing Arts trims staff

The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel eliminated five positions this week as interim CEO Frank Basile tries to rein in costs at the financially challenged organization that oversees the Palladium.

Spokesman John Hughey said the five employees were in fundraising, production and outreach, but he didn't disclose the exact positions.

“We wish to honor the privacy of center staff,” Hughey said. “The changes are a result of streamlining operational procedures.”

Basile declined to elaborate on the job cuts, which leave the center with 36 full-time and six part-time employees. Hughey said no other staff changes are in the works.

Basile has said that he’s trying to cut costs with an eye toward the center's 2012-13 season, which kicks off next fall.

The center’s current budget of $14.5 million is for the 2011-12 season, which involves 81 shows scheduled in the facility's three different venues. The center also is home to the Tarkington theater and the Studio Theater.

About 38 percent of the budget is supported by the public, Basile said in a presentation to the Carmel City Council Monday night. Basile gave the presentation at the request of council members, who wanted to an overview of current operations.

The council last year gave the center $2 million to cover its operating costs, but it’s not subsidizing the center this year. Instead, the center will use a $5.5 million grant from the Carmel City Center Community Development Corp., also known as 4CDC.

Basile, an arts philanthropist and a board member of the not-for-profit foundation that operates the center, stepped into the job after Steven Libman resigned abruptly in late July.


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