Carmel's Palladium needs more money

Ticketsk.d. langPat BenatarYo-Yo MaHuman Interest

Carmel's Palladium concert hall may need more public money, $4 million more. The $175 million arts center is nowhere close to breaking even.

To look at the lineup for the coming season, you wouldn't know there was any trouble at all. You've got everybody from Clint Black, K.D. Lang, to Chris Botti, Pat Benatar in addition to all kinds of symphony orchestras coming, along with Spyro Gyra, Yo-Yo Ma... the list goes on and on. It's impressive. The question is whether or not they can pay for all of it.

The Palladium's operating budget for the 2010-2011 season was $8 million. Ticket sales were supposed to cover about half of that, a quarter coming from the City of Carmel and another quarter coming from private donations. Those donations didn't come together. Even so, the number of acts booked for the season jumped and the $8 million budget for this year skyrocketed to $13 million for next year.

"It was $300,000... it was a million... now it's four million, where will it stop?" asked City Councilman John Accetturo.

If individual and corporate donors don't pick up, the city could be on the hook for millions more.

"There's a limited amount that council can give without raising taxes and I don't think there's any of us on council that are willing to raise taxes," said Eric Seidensticker, Carmel City Council President.

Wednesday, the Office of Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard (R) released a statement saying it will not comment further until a formal request is received, but noted the mayor will not approve anything that raises taxes.

The man in charge of raising money for the Palladium, Steven Libman, is in Washington, D.C. right now. In fact, he's meeting with the National Endowment for the Arts, presumably trying to get some money from that organization to try to fill those gaps.

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