The board of directors for the Vive Les Arts Theatre owes the public an explanation as to why the theater will close at the end of the summer, and members know that. However, that explanation won’t come until everything can be delivered in a “succinct and clear manner,” according to Summer Heidtbrink, the board’s chairman.
“I may not be able to answer all your questions or address all of your concerns at the moment, but as a nonprofit organization that receives funding through private donations, local publicly funded grants and other non-specific forms of funded grants, we believe we owe an explanation to our ardent community of supporters,” she said in a written statement given to the Herald on Wednesday morning.
The board is currently putting together facts and figures, which Heidtbrink hopes will provide a better understanding for the decision and dispel any rumors.
“My job, along with the other board members that wish to keep the theater open, will be to investigate the legitimacy of the vote that has set our organization on the path of closure,” Heidtbrink said. “While I am fighting to keep our theater open, please do not level any ill will towards the board members that voted to close the theater.”
The chairwoman did not say which board members voted for or against the move to close down the community theater, or even what the vote count was. The Herald learned of the closure last week when an advertisement was placed in the newspaper announcing the end of the 40-year-old theater group.
Those who voted against keeping the theater open believe that it has exhausted all means of funding, Heidtbrink continued to say in her statement. She still believes it is a “viable entity” though, and said the amount of interest the news of its closing generated stands as proof.
“If we are successful in keeping the theater open, it will require an effort from the community to support the theater,” she said. “We will need volunteers and donations.”
Heidtbrink is the only member of the executive board of directors that has responded to Herald requests for comment. Nancy Hennigan, Cyd West, George and Stacie Dishon, Jennifer Sullivan, Diane Connell, Leslie and John Gilmore and Bill Kozlik were all contacted by phone, but did not answer. Hilary Shine, the director of public information for the city of Killeen and the treasurer and her husband, Scott, did answer, but deferred comment to Heidtbrink.