Janesville Performing Arts Center looking to future
By the numbers
Nonprofit user groups that use the center.
Annual number of volunteers who in 2011 donated more than 3,300 hours.
Patrons since the center opened in 2004.
Theater and gallery productions in 2011.
Patrons in 2011, including 5,000 students.
Average ticket price, compared with a national average of about $30.
Annual events that cost less than $15 for an adult.
For more information, visit janesvillepac.org.
—Janesville Performing Arts Center
The Janesville Performing Arts Center's income statement gets closer to breaking even each year, but infrastructure expenses tied to an aged facility are a routine threat.
In an effort to be fully transparent to the community and set the stage for future growth, the JPAC board recently released its annual report for 2011.
With nearly 32,000 patrons supporting 137 theater and gallery events in 2011, the center generated revenues of $200,000. Expenses—after depreciation was factored out—totaled about $204,000.
Since opening in 2004, JPAC has lost money nearly every year.
The losses have been lessening, however, and the center's income statement is approaching the break-even point, a longtime goal of its board of directors.
"We're hoping that this year we are over the break-even point," said Elizabeth Isenberg, JPAC's new executive director.
That would be an impressive feat, considering the center was forced to replace one of its two boilers at a cost of $23,000. A second boiler, she said, likely will need replacement in the not-too-distant future.
JPAC's mission is to serve as the primary performing arts and cultural resource center for the greater Janesville area and to accommodate a diverse mix of performances by nonprofit user groups.
Isenberg said the 2011 report gives the community an idea of how the organization is doing financially as well as how the organization is fulfilling its mission.
It also serves as a precursor to what likely will be a three-phase capital campaign.
"The first phase is really to get our building under control," Isenberg said. "After that, we'll probably have a capital campaign that will address some renovations to the building."
JPAC initially will focus on building maintenance, primarily through the continuation of its seat sponsorship campaign.
Shortly after it opened, JPAC sold 325 of its 630 seats, and donors received recognition on both the seats and in the lobby of the facility in the former Marshall School on South Main Street.
JPAC is again selling seat sponsorships for $1,250 with the hope of raising $350,000 for annual repairs and maintenance.
Twelve have been sold, Isenberg said, noting that the money raised so far is more than half the cost of a new boiler.
"We're looking pretty strong," she said. "We do have a couple of large funders, and we have another that's talking about maybe doing some sort of matching program."
If JPAC is successful in establishing a building maintenance fund, it can turn its attention to renovation issues.
Isenberg said theater upgrades are essential, including renovating the school's old cafeteria for groups to use for rehearsals.
Too often, she said, groups that rent JPAC for a production must use the main stage for rehearsals, which severely limits its use by other groups and overall revenue.
In addition, Isenberg said, groups are using a 10-year-old soundboard that's considered obsolete, and office space at the facility is virtually non-existent.
"We have about eight people that are basically sharing a closet," she said. "That's a very difficult environment for JPAC to grow as an organization."
Isenberg said JPAC has a number of other goals:
-- Increasing theater use and attendance.
-- Diversifying the audience base.
-- Increasing rentals of gallery space for weddings, private meetings and community gatherings and events.
-- Expanding the types of programming.
"JPAC thanks its patrons, supporters and user groups for establishing its role in the community as a site where people can share new and enriching experiences," Kayla Hiller, the board's incoming president, said in a news release. "Without the generosity and help from so many, JPAC could not reach its mission to enhance the quality of life for Rock County residents and promote arts education among local youth."