Arts festival shows revenue increase

Early numbers show Arts Festival Oklahoma brought in about $163,539 to the college this year, an increase of about $12,665 compared to last year, said Cultural Programs Director Lemuel Bardeguez.

If this year is like last year, none of that is profit.

“The revenue pretty much is used to cover all of the expenditures of the festival,” Bardeguez said. “The festival is usually quite expensive.”

Bardeguez said the arts festival isn’t a money maker for the college but more of a way to reach out to the community.

“Last year the final expenditure numbers were roughly $185,000. Last year, we generated just under $151,000.

“The college actually subsidizes the balance because the college feels [the festival] is an important outreach element to the community.”

Bardeguez said the money comes from the college’s auxilliary budget.

This year one of the festival’s biggest expenditures was $28,500 to bring the Oklahoma City Philharmonic to the festival, according to a preliminary report provided by OCCC President Paul Sechrist.

Grants from the Ad Astra Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council paid for $23,000 of the philharmonic orchestra artist fees.

Bardeguez said the festival has several primary revenue streams.

Registration fees for artist booths and concessions collected about $57,045 in total revenue, a decrease of about $2,638, according to a document provided by Bardeguez.

Total grants and contributions added about $46,985, an increase of about $14,010; parking collected about $29,753, an increase of about $961; food concessions commissions collected about $13,181, an increase of about $360; and drink concessions collected about $8,698, an increase of about $1,691.

The festival attained these increased revenues despite a decrease in volunteers. There were 375 volunteers this year — 125 fewer volunteers compared to last year’s 500, according to Sechrist.

He said hot weather and local activities clashing with the festival may have contributed to fewer volunteers.

“This particular weekend having a number of other activities may have contributed to a reduced number of volunteers,” Sechrist said.

“The hot weather in recent years has discouraged some people who may not want to be out in the heat or, in some cases, should not be in the heat for long periods of time.”

Sechrist said he predicts there may be room for upgrades in the festival.

“There may be room for some growth, but we may need to think how this could happen,” Sechrist said.

“For example, there was not a lot of room for a significantly larger audience for the philharmonic performance on Sunday evening.”

Sechrist said his overall impression of the festival is that it was a success.

“While it was over 100 degrees on Saturday, the cooler temperatures on Sunday and Monday attracted large crowds,” Sechrist said. “From a logistical point of view, everything went smoothly.”

Bardeguez said the festival is an annual event and this year’s turnout was “another great success for OCCC.”

For more information call Bardeguez at 405-682-1611, ext. 7295.

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