I’m writing to update you on ASC’s budget plan for the new fiscal year which begins July 1. The plan has involved some difficult personnel decisions to ensure we continue to make meaningful investments in the arts, science and cultural community throughout the coming year.
We are reducing our full-time staff from 30 to 24 at the end of June. These reductions include four layoffs and the transfer of two full-time and ten part-time roles from our Studio 345 education program. The details of the spin-off of Studio 345 to another nonprofit organization in Charlotte will be announced soon.
We have reduced staff throughout the organization in the past eight months, with the most recent cuts coming in Education, Philanthropy, Government Relations, Administration & Operations.
We are implementing a salary freeze for all ASC staff, and reducing the salaries of the four highest-paid ASC leaders. Those reductions range from 5 to 15 percent. The actions we are taking now, the spin-off, and the four roles we eliminated last November will result in a 38 percent reduction in personnel expenses year over year.
We are working now to align the grants budget with the forecast for reduced funding that we announced in January, building a plan for thoughtful investments in the creative individuals and cultural organizations who rely on us to serve the community. On July 1, we will announce a series of grants that will provide a vital lifeline during this incredibly challenging time.
The grants we’ve made over the past year helped artists and cultural organizations pivot quickly to virtual programming when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, and to create forums for critical discussions of systemic racism and social justice over the past few weeks. We announced a series of Fellowship Awards for artists in April and recently reviewed applications for Cultural Vision Grants to support artists and organizations in their outreach to the community.
There is still time for YOU to make an impact on ASC’s grants budget for the new year. If you are able to make a contribution, please do so today. We appreciate your consideration of support as we pursue ASC’s commitment to provide Culture For All.