The Student News Site of Oregon State University

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The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Performing Arts Budget Proposal extends $5 Student PRAx Tickets

Graphic by Natalie Lutz
General ASOSU Graphic

As construction on the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts at Oregon State University comes to a close and its doors approach opening, the Student Fee Committee passed a decision package to make it more accessible for students.

The SFC recently met to hear decisions on many packages. The performing arts decision package includes funding for student tickets, student engagement activities with the professional artists who perform at PRAx and free student entry to the PRAx art gallery. 

According to Sophia Nowers, SFC vice chair, PRAx is using funds from fundraising to cover $5 student tickets for 25% of the house (roughly 120 seats) for all events with professional artists this spring. 

“It may seem paradoxical, but the reason to adopt $5 rather than free tickets is to promote accessibility: free tickets much more commonly generate no-shows, which then creates empty seats that could have been held by students who did wish to attend,” said Peter Betjemann, the executive director at PRAx in the Performing Arts Budget Proposal.

PRAx will cover these costs in order to launch the engagement and outreach programming. An average seat at PRAx is estimated to be about $23, so student seats will be $18 less.

“I think it’s a great thing that they lowered it to $5,” said Holly Thompson, a third-year graphic design student. “I think it’ll gain a lot more attention and like people actually coming to the gallery.”

However, PRAx has not stated any plans to extend this into the 2024-2025 year. 

In order for these ticket prices to extend into the next year, the Performing Arts Budget Proposal requested that the SFC support half of the maximum differential between average ticket costs and the $5 tickets, totalling to $26,250.

“ASOSU will be funding the $5 tickets and free entry to the art gallery for next year out of its excess fund balance as a pilot program for (the financial year of 2025),” Nowers said.

This is the first component of the decision package. The second component is providing funding so that all artists who visit PRAx can do engagement activities on campus. 

For spring 2024, PRAx has booked a number of student engagement activities. These include theater/drama workshops, music masterclasses, artist dialogues on topics of cross-campus interest and special presentations for classes on virtual reality technologies, robotics and computer science.

However, in order to continue to hold these engagement activities beyond the spring, more funding is necessary. This has been approved by the ASOSU senate and sent to Carissa O’Donnell, ASOSU president.

The third component of the decision package includes free exhibition gallery programming. 

The Kate and John Stirek Gallery in PRAx plans to present three major exhibitions per year. Curated by professional art curator, Ashley Stull Meyers, each fall will open with a new themed exhibition. In 2024-2025, the theme is Water and Watersheds.

Other university galleries with similar scales and exhibitions are ticketed. 

“The Stirek Gallery, however, has been designed to promote accessibility,” Betjemann said in the proposal. “We are requesting SFC money to underwrite gallery programming, enabling us to maintain the gallery as space that is free to all visitors.”

This component, like the first component, will be funded through ASOSU fund balance in FY25.

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