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sheilas-letters
Mt Baker must get Lean, Mean

Published in the Bellingham Herald on 20 August, 1997

A cultural icon of our past is in financial trouble and its future is threatened.

The Mount Baker Theatre needs help from government pockets(story, June 17 Herald). Or does it?

In 1995 the National Endowment for the Arts slashed funding to Pacific Northwest Ballet. PNB tried to get funding from other sources but failed. We had to either slash the budget or make up the shortfall. Our membership responded with enthusiasm and we conducted several highly successful fund-raising events.

PNB became lean and mean in eliminating unnecessary frills but maintained it's commitment to excellence in ballet. On Oct. 15, I attended PNB's performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The performance captivated my heart and the audience responded with round after round of applause.

PNB went on to New York City where it received a standing ovation. More than a year of hard work and dedication was rewarded. My pride in being a part of this success continues today.

Mount Baker Theatre needs to become lean and mean in its approach to spending. It needs to involve the community in raising money through private means and to become less reliant on public support.

Sheila L Richardson

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