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Salt Lake City Council Evaluates Twilight Concert Series Amid Budget Shortfall

Matthew Montgomery via Creative Commons
The New Pornographers perform in Salt Lake City, Utah at Pioneer Park in the Twilight Concert Series 2010

Salt Lake City’s Twilight summer concert series is 30 years old this summer and the Salt Lake City Council wants to know if it’s still a good idea.

The Salt Lake City Arts Council has for the second year in a row asked the city council for money to address a budget deficit. Arts council Executive Director Karen Krieger says last year the Twilight Concert Series didn’t sell as many tickets as projected and costs have increased due in large part to artist and production fees.

She says an additional $150,000 from city coffers will close the gap for this year’s production, which costs $1.6 million.

“The program will never be self-sustaining at a $5 ticket price,” Krieger says. “What I hope is that through the appropriate city support and the appropriate revenue generation that it can be sustaining.”

The council has indicated it will vote in favor of the funding for this year, but will spend the summer evaluating the benefit of the series.

“Measures of success are going to vary from councilmember to councilmember,” says Salt Lake City Councilman James Rogers. “But if we’re going to hold something like this, it’s got to be an economic development driver as well, both for local businesses, as well as to promote Salt Lake city.”

The Arts Council receives 11 percent of all of it’s funding from Salt Lake City.

The council will take a formal vote on the funding measure in April. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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