To the editor:

Recently an issue has come before City Council regarding the Utah Festival Opera and Music Theater (UFOMT). One of their regular donors had a financial crisis, losing everything. They couldn’t donate for the 2017 season. As a result the UFOMT has a funding shortfall.

The UFOMT has come to the city to ask for a one-time donation to cover this. This might sound ludicrous to some citizens but consider UFOMT’s contributions to the community.

Last year UFOMT brought $27 million to the local hotels, restaurants, and retail businesses. Most of this revenue is from out-of-town patrons. These business professionals have said if the opera fails, their business fails.

Someone said, “The opera is for the rich; let the rich help out.” One of the best kept secrets is the way UFOMT pays to bring the clients of Cache Employment and Training Center, local school classes, and nursing home residents to their shows. Did you know there are $6 tickets always available for the shows? Theater is not just for the rich. Everyone can afford that price.

Did you know that founder Michael Ballam has donated more than his salary back to the opera?

Did you know that the Dasante Building has allowed groups to use their facilities for free? Recipients of this kindness are Logan High School and the Lutheran and Episcopalian churches, to name a few.

The Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater is a non-profit art entity. During the summer season theater interns come to Logan from all over the nation. These students learn about their chosen career in the nurturing environment the opera provides. The emphasis on teaching sets this opera company apart and adds to its positive impact on the community.

The $150,000 became available when the City Council approved RDA funds instead of money from the General Fund to repair the roof of the Eccles Theater. Helping UFOMT would not change the City budget.

I pay taxes to help the poorer segment of our nation/state/city. I will never be able to take advantage of those programs. Does that mean I shouldn’t help out? Not at all.

I would like the City Council to pass the resolution to help the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater cover their shortfall when it’s brought up again on Oct 17. The opera truly enriches the community beyond art. Our city needs to help out.

Bronwyn O’Hara

Logan

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