Behind the Scenes
Demonstrating IMC’s Adaptability, Innovation and Resiliency
Bringing people together for shared experiences, and the healing and transformative power of great live dance and world-class dance education experiences is core to IMC’s work.
Due to current circumstances and the ongoing health emergency, we have had to make some difficult decisions to secure IMC’s long-term financial position, while developing innovative programming and finding new ways to serve our community and connect with our audiences, students and dance lovers. The following is an abbreviated timeline of key actions taken in response to Covid-19.
IMC has consistently demonstrated prudent management, provided innovative programming, built sustainable earned and contributed revenue, and is committed to employing local artists and arts-professionals, contributing to RI’s cultural and economic ecosystems.
As a result of Covid-19, IMC has had to adapt operations as well as manage program interruptions and cancellations. The actions taken by management include:
- New Works & Repertory Performance Series
- May 1-2, McVinney Theatre, Providence, RI
- Family Series-Mother Goose
- April 30-May 2, McVinney Theatre, Providence, RI
- IMC’s Junior Company Performance, March 28, Newport, RI
- Cancellation of Touring Program
- IMC to Seattle International Dance Festival, Seattle, WA, June
- Cancellation of some in-school programs
- Postponement on March 13 of IMC’s Academy Classes (NAB)
- Revision of existing NAB classes to on-line, live streaming
- Summer and Fall Events are presently on hold pending Gov. Raimondo’s May 9 announcement
- As of March 13, IMC’s 10 dancers were laid-off until further notice
- As of April 17, 5 Admin staff were furloughed, and 2 took voluntary salary reductions
- Remaining staff are maintaining key operations–other furloughed staff are volunteering to support new on-line programming.
Summer & Fall Program Plan Forecast:
- Nuit Blanche – Annual Gala. Event format & dates currently under consideration-announcement forthcoming.
- Newport Dance Festival (Alternate dates under consideration-announcement forthcoming.
(August 12-16th, 2020-may include Guest Artists, Malashock Dance)
- Repertory Performance Series (Fall 2020-TBD)
- Site-Specific Spectacles (Peter Pan on the tall-ship Oliver Hazard Perry-Sep 2020-TBD)
Newport Academy Of Ballet (NAB)
- Pre-professional training ages 8 – adult (streaming instruction until in-person classes resume.)
- Community Classes ages 3 – adult (on-going streaming classes until in-person classes resume.)
- IMC Summer Intensive: Invitational as part of Newport Dance Festival.
New Programs and Initiatives:
CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE!, is IMC’s response to provide original, world-class content for Rhode Islanders longing for creative connection and stimulating content. It includes:
- live-streamed movement classes – launched 3/23 (M,W & F 12:30-1:00) Click for schedule
- Performances – Great Dance in Great Places – premiered 4/2 (Weekly; Thurs-Suns) Click for schedule
- IMC’s Newport Academy of Ballet (NAB), initiated virtual classes 4/13 (As previously scheduled)
- NAB started new live-streamed adult classes May 4 (Weekly-Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat) Click for schedule
Mitigating loss of revenue while exploring ways to create new revenue sources and/or ways to monetize virtual content currently offered for free, will be critical to IMC’s ability to emerge from Covid-19 with a sound financial position, and a heightened appreciation for the value of dance on the part of our supporters and partners.
Staff and board have created a Preparedness Task Force to review and evaluate State & Local Government data in order to adapt programs and finances as needed, and to revise contingency plans for the remainder of FY 2020 and beyond. We created a financial forecast tool in conjunction with the finance committee to better monitor and anticipate cash flow and resource allocation. This group has also created a “”mothball” scenario in the event that we cannot return to any programming until the 2nd quarter of 2021.
IMC’s cash position is presently stable, though we have had to make a number of significant interim changes related to mitigating losses due to Covid-19. Adjustments include:
- Deferring dancer’s contract period for @ 8-10 weeks – estimated savings of @ $30K
- Furloughs & voluntary reductions of administrative staff and salaries – estimated savings of @ $30-65K through 2020
- Reduction in overhead expenses (25-50% rent reduction, cuts to utilities, maintenance etc.) – estimated savings of @ $12K through 2020
- Application to available emergency funds:
- SBA – PPP $120,500 (Awarded-funds anticipated in May or June)
- SBA- EIDL $10,000 (Submitted-pending)
- NEA-Cares-Act funds -$50,000 (Proposal pending)
- RISCA-Cares-Act $8K (awarded on May 5)
Management have been proactive in mitigating potential loss of contributed revenue from donors and have also been aggressively seeking out additional funding opportunities from new funders. To date, IMC has;
- Received $181,000 in grant awards/commitments (Total FY-19 grants- $103,550)
- Submitted $212,500 in pending proposals
- Identified $84,500 in potential proposals and are being prepared, and new prospects researched
- Gifts from Individual donors is trending up by 20% over the same period last FY.
CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE!, was initially created to meet a community need—helping people cope with the health crisis by providing access to stimulating content, and ways to connect with each other, as well as to help them stay fit & healthy. It also allowed us to provide our artists with some income.
We will need to understand and adapt summer and all programming — if we can even proceed with a scaled down version — and continually review and revise plans with the safety of our artists, staff, audiences and patrons as our top priority.
Other Notable Organizational developments
- A new executive director started in January of 2020 and has made significant improvements to systems, operations, and morale. His experience and leadership in conjunction with the board and key staff have proven invaluable during the current climate.
- IMC concluded its 2019 FY with a $75K surplus. We have upgraded technology to include new computers/workstations, file sharing network & capacity—moving all files to a Microsoft Office/365 cloud-based solution. The improvement allows for better integration, ease of on-site and remote access to files by staff and has increased staff efficiency as well as proved to be a timely investment given the need for staff to work from home.
- We are presently undergoing the organizations first complete financial audit—having only done financial reviews prior to this year. We anticipate the audit to be concluded in late summer. We are including our last 990 and 2019 year-end P&L as part of this application to the supplemental documents section.
- With the addition of IMC’s new Executive Director, the Governance Committee has worked to strengthen and diversify the skills and expertise of the board and has added five new members.
- IMC’s Dancing Through Boundaries-Arts learning program expanded to the Wilbur & McMahon school in the rural community of Little Compton.
- NAB is currently at capacity and can no longer meet community demand, nor offer classes to all the children who qualify for our scholarship program at our current Charles Street location. In fact, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to rent additional space to meet current demand. The ability to offer an expanded schedule of classes for children and adults is essential to IMC’s vision, and a base for our future financial health.
- We continue to work toward a permanent home in Newport; a regional center for dance and education that can accommodate IMC’s growing needs and meet the area’s growing demand. Our new home will be located in the heart of the community we serve. To date, IMC has raised @ 1.5M of a $5.9M goal.
- IMC has pulled back temporarily on “hard-asks” related to the campaign during this period but continues to explore ways to identify and cultivate key prospects. Response to the campaign remains positive.
IMC’s proven practice of innovation, adaptation and resiliency – is further evidenced by its organizational longevity, programmatic integrity and operational stability. Board and staff have strived to create an organizational culture focused on learning. Research, evaluation, reflection, and pursuit of best practices across artistic and operational management are woven into daily operations.
We intend to remain valuable to our community by providing high-quality dance through innovative new programming, and by doing all we can so that IMC, and its dedicated artists and staff, will be ready to welcome our audiences, students, and patrons back to in-person programming as soon as its prudent.