Claire Trevor Faces Impending Cuts
It is expected that the upcoming budget cuts will affect almost every aspect of the school, from labs to productions to lectures and staffing.
“There’s not much that’s not going to be affected,” said Alan Doig, director of financial operations for the school. “Specifically, we’re still trying to figure out how to cut significant amounts. Invariably, there will be layoffs. And there probably will be programs that will go by the wayside.”
The Claire Trevor School of the Arts faces severe losses in state funding and, subsequently, must find other ways to fund its programs in dance, drama, music and studio art.
“We will absolutely have to rely more on private gifts,” Doig said. “But it’s very difficult to find donors in this kind of economy.”
A decrease in the school’s potential budget for the year could potentially mean a reduction in the number of programs offered to students.
The Arts Outreach program partners with the larger Orange County community as a whole to introduce young children to the arts, as well as allow adults the chance to participate.
“Our outreach money is all soft money. That’s money we raise,” Doig said.
Though donors have consistently been strong in the past, it still won’t be enough to cover all the projected expenses of the school, since state funding is being cut. This means that donor money would be spread thinner throughout the school, leaving less money for such programs as the Arts Outreach.
The cuts could also spell a potential scaling back on the dance, drama and music shows produced through the school.
As these productions are ideal ways for students to gain experience in preparation for their careers, a downsizing in the number of shows and their complexity could put students at a disadvantage.
Likewise, there would be fewer opportunities for students and the broader Irvine community to enjoy the shows produced by their peers.
Dean Joseph S. Lewis III cautions that nobody really knows what’s going to happen in terms of the budget.
“That’s the problem … Since we don’t know what [the budget cuts] are going to be, it’s hard to know what the effect it is going to have on us,” Lewis said.
However, despite the looming budget cuts and the uncertainty this causes for the school, the outlook remains optimistic. Lewis is confident in his school’s ability to rise above setbacks caused by any budget cuts.
“Things are going to change É but we’re creative people and, because of that, we’re probably well positioned to make sure that we discharge our mission,” Lewis said.
Art, drama and music majors within the Claire Trevor School of the Arts have already been seriously affected by past cuts to the budget. With less money to run their facilities, the school has had to make sweeping reductions to its programs across the board, from lessened hours at the school’s photo lab to a diminished variety of classes.
As the saying goes, the show must go on and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts is prepared to make sure that it does.