The Disabled Persons Action Organization is moving to step up its concert offerings so it can increase the seasons net profit to support programs and services for its 500 clients with developmental disabilities.
Timothy J. Dermady, DPAO corporate development director, said the 2013 summer concert series netted only $15,543, a $43,840 decrease from the 2012 season.
All concerts were good; we just didnt have the attendance, he said of the total 7,356 paid tickets across the four concerts.
Jack Hannas Into the Wild animal show May 25 brought in 2,300 people and netted $33,347, while the June 23 Rodney Atkins performance netted $18,051 after 2,142 people purchased tickets. The Aug. 9 KC and the Sunshine Band/ Village People performance brought in the concert series lowest attendance of paid ticket holders of 1,404, and it ended up costing DPAO $33,957. Just over 1,500 people paid to see Charley Pride perform Aug. 30; that concert ended up costing DPAO $1,898.
With KC, we just lost our shirts, Mr. Dermady said, as the $88,525 income didnt touch the $122,482 in expenses.
All four shows were held inside the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, off Coffeen Street. Last year, two shows Blake Shelton and Journey were held outside. While the 2012 series brought in $59,383, that was $75,721 less than the 2011 series. Mr. Dermady said DPAO held all four shows indoors for the 2013 summer series to help have a bigger black line. Since that plan didnt work, the Davidson Street nonprofit will go back to at least one outdoor show, if not two, for the 2014 concert series.
The last two years weve made a little, but not near what wed like to make, he said.
The agency wont start planning for the next series until it sorts through data from about 3,000 surveys that were completed by members of the public in the past two weeks. Mr. Dermady said a few things were immediately apparent: peoples top concert choices are country and rock, and the next top performer theyd like to see is a comedian.
DPAO also has dealt with competition from local promoters, area casinos and even venues in Canada. Mr. Dermady said after the agency combs through survey results, DPAO will reach out to its agent and see what acts are available and willing to come to the north country.
To help with that process, and other future DPAO fundraisers, the agency recently incorporated a foundation. Former DPAO Executive Director and board member Joseph L. Rich will serve as president for one year, effective Jan. 1.
Our primary function is to assist DPAO, he said. Wed be the fundraising arm of DPAO.
Mr. Rich said the foundation was formed to formalize more fundraising opportunities. While the agency is known for its annual concert series, Mr. Rich said, other, smaller fundraisers also will take place, such as one possibly to raise funds to side the DPAO building, 617 Davidson St.
The biggest challenge with concerts, Mr. Rich said, is not having a large enough venue in the Watertown area that accommodates 5,000 to 6,000 people.