Live theater and arts organizations throughout Chicago are coping with new economic realities emerging from the pandemic.

The Beverly Arts Center (BAC) is operating under these same pressures. The board of the BAC has made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce expenses for its live theater offerings in favor of a renewed focus on community and cultural engagement through a broad range of art forms. In doing so, the BAC will remain a vibrant, ongoing concern for the long term and will honor its mission to be a multifaceted, diverse, inclusive space for all on Chicago’s culturally rich South Side.

In addition to the brilliant acting and directing of our recent live theater productions, the impressive stage design has dazzled our community. Unfortunately, we are unable to sustain the financial demands of these events. Budgeting for the 23-24 season has been challenging in unprecedented ways. Therefore, the Board was forced to reduce the expenses for Live Theater.

Two artistic team members have left the organization: Artistic Director Kevin Pease and Technical Director Rick Keeley. We are grateful for their hard work and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Managing Director Dr. Carla Carter will fill the leadership needs as Interim Director of the organization as we plot a new course.

In reimagining the offerings of the BAC, we focused on a single question to guide us: “What is our mission?” The mission statement is below:

The Beverly Arts Center, located on Chicago’s South Side, is a multifaceted organization building community through diverse, quality arts programming, education, and entertainment for all ages and levels.

The BAC board unanimously agreed the Beverly Arts Center is not about a single arts discipline or program. It is for everyone in our community, of every background and race, pursuing any art form, whether as a student, teaching artist, performer, audience member, parent, visual artist, musician, community member, or any combination of these. It is essential that we remain solvent for all.

We encourage guidance from our community as a lively multicultural and multidisciplinary arts center. We look forward to a robust conversation with our close neighbors in Beverly, Morgan Park, and Mount Greenwood, as well as the Chicago communities we serve across the South Side and beyond, from Auburn-Gresham to Tinley Park, from Roseland to Oak Lawn, from Chatham to Blue Island.

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