The historic South Potomac Street theater has ongoing financial troubles and in recent months has been plagued by a series of resignations, including those of its managing director and some board members.
City officials should see a business plan or signs that would give them confidence in the theater's future before they increase the city's annual contribution to the theater, Councilman Mark Jameson said on Wednesday.
The city plans to give the theater $5,000, the same amount it received this fiscal year. Theater officials had asked for $15,000.
"We would like to see something done with the management. We would like the board to be more involved with the management of the theater," said Councilman Fred Kramer.
Councilman William Breichner said the theater deserves the same treatment given other nonprofit groups. "If someone disagrees with management, they should be talking to management," he said.
Kramer said city officials might have given the theater more money had the contingency fund been larger.
Instead, Council members chose to spread the extra funding around. Under current plans:
- The museum would receive $12,000, a $2,000 increase from this fiscal year.
- The symphony would get $6,000, a $1,000 increase.
- The library should receive $16,000, a $4,000 increase.
- Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA) would receive $21,500, a $2,500 increase.
- The Washington County Historical Society would get $1,500, a $500 increase.