How disappointing it has been to discover that the Spokane Civic Theatre board apparently learned nothing from last year’s fiasco at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture.
Theaters, as well as museums, are in the entertainment business. Therefore, whether they realize it or not, they have an obligation to the patrons who support them. That obligation demands a certain amount of transparency – honesty? – in the execution of their affairs. This obligation does not include helping attorney Bob Dunn enhance his reputation as counsel for the Civic’s ousted leader.
Consequently, pre-emptive actions by such institutions always should incorporate well-considered public relations advice. It is hardly enough, after the fact, to ask, “How dare the public question our decision?” The public has a distinct right, one it has earned by purchasing their tickets, attending their events and, on occasion, soliciting financial support on their behalf.
Regardless of the merits of the Civic Theatre board’s decision to fire the executive artistic director, the heavy-handed nature of the proceedings and the accompanying display of arrogance tarnish the long, exemplary record of this local treasure. The board should set this right at once.
Jim and Ann Price