NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS announces that it has been the recipient of an emergency SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the support of Congressman Van Taylor.
The loan was requested as one element of many NTPA fundraising efforts to keep its doors open in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We rely on over 70% of our income from live on-stage performances and classes and are seeing a fraction of that in the face of this challenge,” says NTPA Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh. “Securing these loans and other funding sources is critical to our keeping our doors open and surviving this pandemic.”
NTPA made its application to the SBA within days of the CAREs Act which allowed for non-profit organizations to take advantage of these loan sources, a program historically reserved for “for-profit” organizations. After an initial “approval,” NTPA was rejected by the SBA when NTPA could not provive a list of “majority shareholders.” Non-profit organizations are prohibited from having “shareholders.”
“We went back and forth with the SBA for weeks trying to explain that as a non-profit we don’t have “shareholders,” and in the end they rejected our application,” continues Rodenbaugh. “We had been working with Congressman Taylor’s office on an arts advocacy effort and raised the concern with his office, and he and his staff went to work.”
The Congressman’s office immediately escalated the situation within the SBA to ensure the department was conforming to the congressional mandates of the CAREs Act and discovered that the process had not been updated to enable non-profit participation. Three weeks later, the loan was approved and funded.
“Performing arts education is incredibly important in developing the character of our youth,” said Congressman Van Taylor. He continued, “I am pleased to support the country’s largest non-profit youth theatre organization in its efforts to remain alive and deliver on the wonderful benefits it provides our North Texas community. The creativity, leadership, and confidence they foster in our children is significant, especially during these trying times.”
As a result of this congressional review, the SBA’s administrative process was corrected, allowing for non-profit organizations across the country to be recipients of this loan support as originally intended by Congress.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative of Congressman Van Taylor and his office’s efforts to correct the situation, and the speed at which they dove in, with the Congresssman himself checking in personally on the progress,” continues Rodenbaugh. “We were also impressed with how rapidly the SBA responded and corrected the process when they recognized the problem, and we are thankful that in the end this got to the right place.”
NTPA has launched a series of fundrasing activities and efforts with hopes of being able to pay off this and other loan sources it is relying on to keep its doors open. Employing over two-dozen professional stage and screen artists, NTPA has launched online programs, classes and other activitities in its effort to keep its artistic team gainfully employed and doors open. It has opened “live” educational youth productions on-stage under a strict safety protocol, though limits audiences to “friends and families” of the student-performers.
NTPA has laid off staff, reduced pay of remaining staff members, and worked to renegotiate leases and other obligations. Most recent projections forecast losses in excess of a half-a-million dollars between now and next spring.
“This loan doesn’t solve all of our problems, and of course it is a loan so will need to be paid back,” continues Rodenbaugh. “But this buys us some critical time to ramp up our fundraising efforts so that we can keep this thirty-year institution’s door’s open. We could not be more grateful to Congressman Taylor and the SBA program.”
The SBA EIDL loans are limited to $150,000, offer attractive interest rates and may be paid back over long-term periods.
“Our ‘Back to School Task Force’ of over thirty medical, legal, educational and other professionals created a deliberate, careful and comprehensive ‘safe school’ protocol beyond CDC and State of Texas guidelines,” continues Rodenbaugh. “We will enforce daily health checks, rigorous disinfection efforts, safe social distance and other protections, and had mandated protective mask policies well before local or state requirements to do so.”
NTPA is accepting applications through mid-August. Curriculum details and information on personal consultations are available at NTPA.org/academy.
Congressman Van Taylor and NTPA Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh pose for a photo outside the NTPA headquarters facility, Willow Bend Center of the Arts, located inside The Shops at Willow Bend.
Congressman Van Taylor speaks to NTPA students at a rehearsal of the NTPA – Plano production of Seussical the Musical.
Congressman Van Taylor and NTPA Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbuagh discuss emergency funding through SBA EIDL loans.