A Fiscal Year End Update
From Executive Director Kristen Sbrogna
La Peña’s fiscal year runs September 1 – August 31, and I’m pleased to share that after finalizing our financial statements, La Peña reports a surplus! For those of you familiar with our financial situation, this is big news for us, and reflects a turnaround to a new phase of stability, renewal, and smart growth.
I would describe the sentiment in the air at La Peña as one of hopefulness. We had a year full of “transition” and change, but we also accomplished a lot, and the result is a renewed center, a new restaurant, and new projects on the horizon. At our core we are still an organization committed to arts and social justice, rooted in Latin American culture.
In addition to stabilizing our budget in 2014, La Peña completed phase 1 of our Building our Future capital campaign. We raised $100,000 to fund renovations to the café, bathrooms, and lobby, and to purchase new sound and lights systems for the theater.
Our financial success is in large part due to our ability to adapt to the new fundraising climate. Between 2010 and 2012, La Peña reduced its budget by more than a third (from approximately $750,000 to approximately $450,000) due to the loss of a few large corporate grants. The necessary result was a multi-phase restructuring. The final phase, reflected in the graph below, shows the final implementation of the restructuring in 2014.
Despite the savings in staff expenses, our impact on the community has not been compromised. In 2014, La Peña added many regular free and low-cost programs in our lounge while maintaining close to the level of La Peña presents shows in the theater. This slight decrease is reflected in the dip in artist fees from 2013 to 2014 seen below.
The artist fees are still impressive: they surpass those in 2012 when the staff budget was more than double what it is now. In addition, the distribution of total artist fees is over less shows overall, meaning artists are being paid more on average per show than in 2013. This is largely because at the beginning of 2014 we restructured our financial agreement for our shows to give artists a higher percentage of the door net.
The graph below shows our mission-based categorizations for our La Peña presents programs.
*In addition to the more than 140 La Peña presents shows included above, in 2014 La Peña hosted over:
46 2nd Gen events
750 classes, workshops, and summer camps (15-20 individual classes/week)
123 community free or by-donation events (mostly in our lounge)
26 Saturday morning family programs
Ensuring we are on a sustainable path will take a little more time “in the black,” but I am confident that as we move forward we will continue to secure our financial footing and expand our programs. As we approach our 40th year, La Peña is as strong as ever!