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Two Iowa Auditoriums Face An Uncertain Future Due To A Pandemic And Budget Cuts

Budget cuts have two premiere performing arts venues in state facing a financially uncertain future.
Lloyd Dirks
Budget cuts have left two premier performing arts venues in Iowa facing a financially uncertain future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been financially devastating for Iowa’s Universities. Canceled or modified sports seasons coupled with an additional $8 million in cuts from the State Board of Regents is forcing difficult decisions on each campus.

There has been some confusion in the last couple of days about what is going on with C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames. First, Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said in a letter that he would recommend indefinite closure of the 51-year-old auditorium. Then, Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen issued a statement saying the University is committed to working with the athletic department to keep C.Y. Stephens Auditorium open.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with the executive director of C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Tammy Koolbeck, for a better understanding of the current situation.

Later, the executive director of Hancher Auditorium, Chuck Swanson, joins the program to talk about the new facility which has only been open for four seasons. The pandemic closed down performances of all kinds and Hancher had to cancel many events. The University of Iowa announced they would cut Hancher’s budget by about $1.5 million a year – no longer covering the salaries of the staff.


· Tammy Koolbeck, executive director C.Y. Stephens Auditorium

· Chuck Swanson, executive director, Hancher Auditorium

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa