Dear P&R Director Elliot, Mayor Meyers, and members of the City Council,
I write to you as Executive Director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, founding member of the Friends of the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and a concerned resident of the City of Santa Cruz, to request your special attention to the Civic Auditorium budget as you determine funding for the coming year.
The pandemic has had an especially profound and negative impact on the performing arts, artists, and cultural organizations of our community. At a time when we can finally find hope in the wake of despair, and the community can begin to plan to gather, the Civic Auditorium can and must play a meaningful role in the recovery and revitalization of our downtown. As presenters and promoters reemerge from dormancy, the sheer size and flexibility of the Civic will make it more important than ever to our community of artists and audiences.
The economic impact of the Civic on Downtown Santa Cruz—restaurants, businesses, and services—is enormous. Investing in Civic Auditorium staffing and infrastructure has a direct correlation to its ability to generate operating income for the City and the businesses which surround it. Undercutting that investment just as restrictions lift and the potential to grow usage of the facility increases would be short sighted.
I ask you to please consider that there is a profound need for our community to gather, and to gather specifically around arts and culture; and I believe there will be increased demand for the facility as the year continues. Supporting that growth and the potential for full scale and increased usage in 2022 will serve the City and the entire community. Capitalizing on this opportunity, rather than retreating from it with funding cuts, can and will make all the difference. Thank you for your time and efforts.
Ellen M. Primack