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.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(4) comments

countrynewsman

I am totally baffled by this story. Vive Les Arts has apparently done little to encourage the entire community to get involved. It would appear that this is an elite organization that caters to elite clientele and doesn't care to advertise to the community. It seems clear to me that the reason the community is just now learning about VLA's financial problems is that it was really none of our business since most of us are not a member of the elite in this community.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs. Avin you are spot on regarding the closing of the arts program . Here we are again asking the taxpayers to support a program without telling them what, where, when, why and how the need came about. It must be something in the water in Killeen which prevents folks from coming out, speaking out and laying things on the table. I rather think this might be a "mini me" of the very way the taxpayers are being treated regarding the city audit. From my life experiences if you tell it like it is rather than do the Texas two step you get better results. American people are probably the most forgiving people on this earth, but when they are lied to or given the run around in getting honest answers they can become a stubborn lot. It sounds like shades of Washington DC ("WE NEED TO PASS THE BILL SO WE CAN SEE WHAT'S IN IT") We are closing but when we find out why we are closing we will let you know or words to that effect. Is this a play being put on by the committee members with the theme of it being, "Ring Around The Rosie." So far the answers of why the program is closing are , you need to know but when we get the facts ourselves we will let you, I refer your question to some else and to no one answering their media devices. I has supported this program in the past and if the information as to why the closing would have been put out and was not being slow waked I would have supported it again but whether it stays or goes will depend on others as of now it's no longer any of my concern. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be

texasgoat

....sounds like they ran out other people's money.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
Can't anyone in this town give a straight answer???? Anymore, answers to the public are evasive, defensive, in general, speaks, but doesn't give any answers.

Copy: '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.' End of copy.

Now what did the delivery of approximately 55 words say???? Nothing,another smoke screen.

Copy: 'The board is currently putting together facts and figures, which Heidtbrink hopes will provide a better understanding for the decision and dispel any rumors. End of copy.

How did the 'executive board' reach the conclusion, any conclusion, to shut this theater group down if they did not have facts and figures????

And once again, the names of board members are anonymous, do not point a finger at 'who said what', it's to remain a deep, dark secret, just like everyone in this town, including the council.

From what I've read, the city found that this venture was indeed beneficial to the public and that must have been 'why' this city, and the Texas Arts that provided, as I understand it, a one time grant. Now as I understand it, the city, who took on the obligation to provide any funding that was necessary to 'keep the doors open' I the future. Now the question arises, 'where did the city change it's mind'???? Now the present board of directors voted to 'close the doors' without fact and figures to support such a move. Why????

This board, along with many of the executive boards in this city, reads like a listing of 'who's who', including the name of the 'director of public information, Ms. Hillary Shine, who's name is cropping up in many different factions these days.

My question would be, 'When and where did the 'ownership' shift from the city to a public orientated domain?

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.