For Christina De Paris
For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH - Those intrigued by the arts can continue to patronize the creations that unfold at the Peabody Auditorium.
At the right price, though, they could find themselves or their business in the limelight too.
Helen Riger, the Peabody's executive director and the city of Daytona Beach's cultural services administrator, hired consultant Kevin Geddings in March to look for additional revenue sources for the Peabody - a self-sustaining enterprise managed by Daytona Beach's cultural services department. His mission: find sponsors.
"We want to make sure the Peabody's 62 years continues to go on," said Mrs. Riger. "We just really need the support of the community to come forward and help us get there."
The venue has already caught a big fish. By June, Mr. Geddings managed to secure the Peabody's first substantial contract with Holland Financial Inc. of Ormond Beach. The pact involves a financial award of $35,000 in return for various marketing advantages.
"That was very exciting to us," Ms. Riger said, "to get one of this caliber and amount because the Peabody is really trying to break even, and in this economy it's been really tough to do that."
David Holland, CEO of Holland Financial, will receive a mix of marketing opportunities from the Peabody, such as face-to-face networking at each event for the year, having the company logo projected on the curtain and the ability to announce acts and present shows.
"Introducing the talent is the biggest thing that appeals to us and the presence that we could have with the community and getting our message out there as far and what we do here and the things we could offer people," said Ellen Edmonds, Holland Financial's vice president of marketing.
Mrs. Edmonds said the venue's lineup in the coming years is likely to attract the kind of people the company seeks to woo.
"The audience that frequents the Peabody," she said, "matches the demographic we're reaching out to and we felt like it would be really good fit. Plus it's a nice support to the city."
The Peabody maintains all costs without the help of tax dollars, which makes it necessary to have partnerships. Other partnerships, like those with Bright House Networks and Pepsi, have yielded $5,000 or less.
Mrs. Riger said the Peabody's sponsorship fund now totals $53,000 for 2012.
Jill Jaquet, the Peabody's theater manager, said landing these types of sponsorships could be a sign that community members understand the Peabody's impact.
"The Peabody is still remaining a bright shining star here in the community," said Ms. Jaquet. "(Individuals) benefit from our programs which provide more than entertainment. Cultural programming inspires creativity and enriches the life and hearts of people."
Mrs. Jaquet also noted attendance numbers have been remarkably high, with renowned acts like Leann Rimes and Cheech & Chong set to take the stage in November.
Mrs. Riger hopes to eventually bring to the Peabody a permanent development director with the goal of building a reserve and endowment to keep the institution running for decades to come.
Visit http://www.peabodyauditorium.org/index.cfm for more information.