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‘My Fair Lady’ ticket sales fund community

By Staff | Jun 9, 2017

Submitted photo Rob Hovland (left) and Jill Roberts rehearse a scene from “My Fair Lady” where Henry Higgins (played by Hovland) feeds marbles into the mouth of Eliza Doolittle (played by Roberts) to improve her speech.

Arts programs are not always thought of as contributors to economic development in a community.

However, as tickets go on sale on Monday, June 12 for the Village Arts anniversary production of “My Fair Lady”, staff members reckon the organization has contributed more than an estimated $1 – $1.5 million to Rugby’s economy over the past 50 years.

Artistic Director Glory Monson said, “$1-$1.5 million is actually a conservative estimate of money that goes back into the community. This figure represents money that has been spent at local businesses for materials and supplies, for rentals, publicity, print or payments to local residents for contract labor. The money spent on Village Arts programs has largely stayed in the community for half a century.”

Former managing director Deb Jenkins added, “Village Arts adds to the local economy in other ways than buying from local business. We have a large contingency of resident and out-of-town audience members, cast and crew, for example, who buy gas, food at restaurants or other items from local retailers when they attend an event or participate in a program.”

Village Arts receives one of the largest grants in the state from the North Dakota Council on the Arts. This award is based on recognition of the organization’s successful programming as well as its broad community financial support. Ticket sales income, patron dollars and grants benefit Rugby. Monson noted,” There are very few arts organizations that have survived for 50 years in our state. All money that Village Arts spends, except money spent on royalties or music purchases or some rentals, stays in Rugby.”

Growth overall in state arts employment, in fact, has been hailed recently. North Dakota received attention across the country when the National Endowment for the Arts published a report about employment in the arts and cultural sector. Arts employment increased in North Dakota more than any other state from 2008 2014 at a rate of 11 per cent.

Village Arts is currently in rehearsal with production of “My Fair Lady” with performances planned for June 23, 24,25 and 26. Tickets can be purchased beginning Monday, June 12, at the Heart of America Library basement from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.. They can also be reserved by calling 776- ARTS (776-2787).

– Submitted by

Deb Jenkins

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