COVID-19 impact on the arts

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 11:37 AM CDT
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The pandemic is having an impact on everyone, and it's certainly having an impact on the arts. The Lofte Theatre near Manley is struggling now because part of the regular season was cancelled.

We talked with Artistic Director Kevin Colbert about the urgent situation the Lofte finds itself in right now. "We lost the first half of our season, the first three shows that we had sold for our season this year, which is our 44th year of live entertainment, they are gone," Colbert said. "Right now we are tentatively hoping to get in the second half of our season." That season is set to start in September. If that doesn't happen, the theater could be facing some hardships. "Because the loss of the first three shows, we've lost in revenues around $125,000," Colbert said. "That's just in ticket sales. We are going to have to try to find a way to make that money up."

As you might imagine, the Lofte has a number of expenses, and there is a mortgage that is paid to the USDA once a month. "We've had a year's worth of reserves, but they are being quickly depleted," Colbert said. "Our reserves will be gone by the end of the year, and we will be out of money."

The Lofte is working to find ways to make money, including asking people to donate the money from the first three shows of the regular season to the theater. "We are calling it the 'Raise the Curtain' campaign," Colbert said. Officials with the theater are also trying to showcase some outdoor events. On Saturday, June 27, there is going to be a concert, and also on July 3. Check out all of the information at

"I'm hoping that the Lofte family can understand our situation and helps us, to get on board and keep the doors open, that's the main thing," Colbert said.