David Yager, president of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, “is starting his tenure … by unloading the Merriam Theater, the century-old, 1,800 seat venue on Broad Street that UArts has owned since 1972,” reads an unsigned Saturday (10/15) article at Newsworks.org (Philadelphia/Delaware/southern NJ). “UArts only uses the theater for student productions eight weeks out of the year…. The rest of the year it is managed and booked by the Kimmel Center…. UArts will sell the theater to the Kimmel Center for $11 million, of which $5 million came from a grant by the William Penn Foundation. The Kimmel Center owns three theaters inside its own building on Broad Street, and has a long-term, 99-year lease agreement on the Academy of the Arts, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra. By gaining control of the Merriam, the Kimmel Center is able to clearly distinguish an arts campus along Broad Street.… Apart from the real estate deal, which they hope to complete in a few weeks, the Kimmel and UArts have launched a partnership to bring their two, neighboring organizations closer together.… The Kimmel Center has just opened an exhibition of artwork by UArts students and faculty.”

Posted October 19, 2016