The Focal Point
St. Louis’ premiere roots music listening room since 1975
To Our Patrons: A Status Report (Fall 2021)
- Several years ago, our board concluded that our historical hand-to-mouth method of financial operation was untenable and would eventually result in disaster should we be faced with an unexpected emergency. For the first time, we started systematically soliciting donations from our patrons. The response was generous, and we banked most of the proceeds in a rainy-day reserve fund. Had Covid-19 happened in the years before that, Focal Point would be gone by now, probably for good. But that fund has allowed us to survive so far, and even improvise ways to bring you some terrific shows in the middle of a pandemic to boot. So where are we now?
- Since March of 2020, we have:
- Spent approximately $52,000 on the fixed overhead expenses required to maintain the building.
- Received no income from our share of concert revenue.
- Received no income from renting the building.
- Had our grant reduced by $8,000 because the granting agency suffered loss of income.
- Lost $7,000 when the company handling our advance ticket sales went bankrupt.
- Over the same time, we have accomplished much:
- Invested $10,000 in equipment needed to keep the music alive under pandemic conditions.
- Presented 28 of the finest livestream concerts you will see (thanks to help from Paul Heirendt of Big River Media).
- Presented 20 live shows on our improvised outdoor stage (thanks to our maintenance chief, Geoff Herman).
- Elected to give 100% of proceeds from these shows to the musicians, in recognition of the desperate straits of gigging musicians during the pandemic.
- But Focal Point will not survive being dark for another winter. We have concluded that we must reopen indoor shows under the “new normal” conditions (see the “Covid-19 Safety Practices” tab on our website for more details) or die. Accordingly, we will resume a regular indoor concert season on October 30.
- But to assure that we continue operating, we need two things:
- We need for you to come to shows. This provides ticket income for the musicians and Focal Point, and the shared experience of live music may help us all withstand some tough times.
- Donate if you can, because our reserves are vanishing. Since the pandemic began, generous patrons have helped buoy us by contributing about $14,000. We ask those who have donated to continue to do so when they can and those who have not, to consider doing so.
- Focal Point, an all-volunteer, non-profit, has been enriching lives for 47 years. We have survived a vicious pandemic and are committed to continuing that tradition, with your support. To see how to donate, select the Donate tab on our website or the button at the bottom of the weekly newsletter.
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