GW ended its support of The IN Series, a professional performing-arts program carried over from the Mount Vernon College, June 30 after a two-year attempt to save the program failed, said Grae Baxter, executive dean of the Mount Vernon campus.
Baxter cited space constraints at the Mount Vernon campus, the program’s continual deficit and the failure of program directors to meet the University’s mission of education as reasons the 19-year-old series lost GW support.
The program accumulated a $100,000 deficit in the two years the University supported it, Baxter said. Ending the program will free GW of a financial burden and open Hand Chapel for educational purposes, including dance classes, Baxter said.
The University agreed to continue the program when it took over Mount Vernon College in 1998 as long as The IN Series directors worked to make the program more economically independent and make it an educational resource for students, Baxter said.
Walter Beach, who served on the Mount Vernon College Board of Trustees for 25 years and attended The IN Series performances, said he agreed with the University’s decision.
I was disappointed, but it’s understandable because it’s been financially in a poor situation for a lot of years, said Beach, who serves on the council at the Mount Vernon campus.
At the time Baxter said she did not realize how difficult it would be for the program’s directors to fulfill those requirements.
We did not know going in that it would be as difficult as it was, Baxter said.
Carla H?bner, the program’s artistic director, tried to meet the University’s requests, but ultimately failed after two years for understandable reasons, Baxter said.
Baxter said the University would support H?bner if she chose to continue the program at another venue. She said GW would offer the program start-up money or help find donors for the program.
H?bner was unavailable for comment.