I had the opportunity to sit down with Elissa Glickman, the newly appointed chief executive of the nonprofit that runs the Alex Theatre.
Even though we are friends via social media, I had not seen Glickman since I left the Alex Regional Theatre (ART) Board in 2004. I served on the committee that interviewed and hired her to be director of marketing and resource development, so news of her promotion was a happy occasion, as it reinforced what we saw in her some eight years ago.
It was an interesting meeting for a couple of reasons, our differing perspectives on the recent demise of redevelopment agencies statewide being one such reason. I have been critical of redevelopment agencies for transacting in a number of questionable real estate and financial decisions that by many accounts seem to favor wealthy developers more than the people they are supposed to serve.
Unfortunately, the death of redevelopment agencies also took its toll on venues like the Alex Theatre that relied heavily on redevelopment revenues to operate. If there was a way to keep this portion of redevelopment money flowing and just shut the faucets off that fund mini malls, I’d be supportive. As it is, the venue stands to lose $415,000 in funds beginning in 2015. That amount represents 18% of the annual budget.