Normal: Subsidizing Culture

By:  Diane Benjamin

The charts below are from the current Town of Normal budget unless otherwise stated:  https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/14883/2019-2024

PDF page 64 – Revenue projections for Children’s Discovery Museum and the Normal Theater

rev titlescdm revenue

PDF page 121 – CDM Expense projections

cdm expenses

PDF page 123 – Theater Expensive projections

theater expenses

Projected Revenue:

Children’s Discovery Museum   $1,003,050

Normal Theater   $259,700

Projected Expenses:

Children’s Discovery Museum  $1.395,802

Normal Theater  $422,129

Notice anything yet?

Note:  Both of these facilities are used by people who do not live in Normal.

The taxpayer’s of Normal are subsidizing:

The Children’s Discovery Museum for:  $329,752

The Normal Theater for :  $162,429

Total:  $492,181

Next look at the attendance numbers for both:

PDF page 345:

cdm attendencetheater

According to PDF page 120 the Children’s Discovery Museum has 8 full time employees and 40 part time.  Below are the full time salaries, some are not listed on the Total Compensation report because Normal only reports salaries over $75,000:  https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/14857/Total-Compensation-Report—Town-of-Normal

This list is from:    https://normal.org/Directory.aspx?did=24

cdm salaries

According to PDF page 122 the Theater has 2 fill time and 8 part time employees

This list is from:  https://normal.org/Directory.aspx?did=27

theater staff

I could say a lot about these numbers, I’d rather hear from you!

I just want the citizens of Normal to know they are subsidizing culture for people who don’t live in Normal.

10 thoughts on “Normal: Subsidizing Culture

  1. This is less about culture and more about subsidizing Upity-town. It is to try and lure non-ISU people to venture into Uptown. The town elites do not understand parents with children do not want to pay and hunt to find parking.

    The theatre Logic is contradictory. The town saved it because it is old, yet they have no problem tearing down the other old structures for the new government subsidized buildings which businesses don’t want or can’t afford to rent.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Diane, it’s far worse than “Subsidizing Culture”.

    No thinking person can fail to see the Leftist/Marxist/anti-traditional tilt of the programs and offerings of both the Normal Theater and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Heck, just do a social media check on some of their employees and particularly board members–scary stuff! Taxpayers aren’t “Subsidizing Culture”, they are paying for Hard-Left political indoctrination.

    That’s wrong……SO wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that this is definitely subsidized. There are also people making a lot of money for putting on subsidized facility/programming.

    As museum passholders, we are part of the 39,631 – several times. We do pay for that membership though. The same as paying for one-time special events. The same could be said about holding a birthday there; you are paying to visit as part of that package. I don’t think their numbers add up though. Perhaps they would be better-suited naming the row you have highlighted as one-time paid admissions.

    It appears they have a ‘free’ rate of 8.29%. I’m not sure what goes into that number and who gets those free admissions. It would also be interesting to see how that compares to freebies given away at Coliseum events. Regardless, the taxpayers are subsidizing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Uptown cannot exist without subsidies. It’s an economic illusion. An old buddy of mine once referred to Uptown as a “Hollywood set”. Anyway, people look at Uptown seeing the restaurants, shops, hotel, theater, and museum, not as a success story but as nothing worth questioning, being upset about, or even thinking about. A shrug of the shoulders perhaps. However, once folks hear that it’s incurred debt to the tune of over $100 million (and climbing), instantly people become upset because Uptown is clearly not worth the $100 million price tag to taxpayers footing, especially as they see their taxes and fees rising every year. If people knew how much taxpayer money is and will continue to be needed in order to prop up businesses, entertainment (museum, theater), hotels, etc. in Uptown, they’d be floored. How many entities in Uptown DON’T have a subsidy from the Town in one form or another? It might be easier to count that. If we took those subsidies away, how many would actually survive? More and more people are questioning the logic of Uptown. It started with questioning the need for Uptown 2.0, it’s now advanced to thinking maybe the whole premise of Uptown itself (1.0) was a bad idea. Folks are waking up big time. Bad news for Koos and his cronies; good news for taxpayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just a side note voters need to remember when Peterson called the original director of the children’s museum into his office and terminated her for what? Next came the manager of the theater she had been there for years with her husband helping a lot with no compensation Peterson called her into his office and terminated her as well “ the city wanted to go a different direction “ . The same people still control everything even with Peterson gone voters wake up!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peterson was Koos’ enforcer. (Reece is the same.) I’m told Peterson would get into yelling matches and politically (or otherwise) threaten those that went against the Crown.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As a business person who had to deal with Peterson, he was a dictator and all who crossed his path were required to do as he said. There are many other businesses who tangled with him and fell wrath to the flurry of retaliatory town staff unrealistic requirements and demands that followed. I will never trust a town staff minion who worked under Peterson, especially the two in planning and zoning. Reece was trained in the same dictatorship governance style. It is not what is best for the citizens. It is what the manager or town staff want, period!

    Liked by 2 people

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