the cultural association Créa announces the end of live shows

the cultural association Créa announces the end of live shows
the cultural association Créa announces the end of live shows

Un thunderclap. It was a “painful” decision that the Board of Directors of the cultural association of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne Créa had to make. The latter has in fact just voted to end live performance activity. There will therefore be no cultural season at the start of the 2024-2025 school year. The association will refocus its efforts around the Le Relais cinema.

This situation led, de facto, to the economic dismissal of three employees and the end of the contract of an apprentice and an intermittent entertainment manager. The president of Créa Brigitte Renu, “deeply sad”, will speak during the week with the director Chloé Deleforge. There will always be time to point out the reasons that led to this mess.

“We will continue to help Créa”

For the mayor of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, François Richaud, the person responsible is obvious. Without ever naming him directly, the elected official alludes to the former director Denis Lecat who spent six years at Créa before leaving in 2022. “During this period, the number of members increased from 2,000 to 1,000. programming was not at all adapted to public demand and the various boards of directors drew no conclusions from it,” he notes, implying that they let it happen.

The person concerned, who is criticized by some for having reduced the City’s subsidy, affirms that this is in no way the primary reason for the difficulties of the cultural association but the consequence of this desertion of members. “The Regional Audit Chamber made it clear that the maximum we could give should not exceed 80,000 euros. We reduced our aid little by little. Unfortunately, the new team was unable to turn things around and understood that the association could no longer operate with ten employees. However, we will continue to help Créa in its new direction,” François Richaud tries to reassure.

An inevitable end?

The boat began to sink during the 2020-2021 cultural season with a financial loss of 125,000 euros linked, according to the current Board of Directors, “to risky management and programming that did not meet its audience, associated to the difficult post-Covid recovery. » The following season, Denis Lecat gave way to co-management. Chloé Deleforge and Julie Dieng Dit Sock, thanks to “drastic savings, some exceptional aid and a patronage campaign”, have managed to restore financial balance and get back on track “despite reductions in subsidies from certain partners”. Not enough, however, to replenish equity.

Spectators had difficulty returning to the theaters. “The results of live performance for the 2023-2024 season will be negative,” reveals the Board of Directors in its open letter. The cinema’s good results (+20% attendance compared to the previous year) could not prevent the inevitable. “Added to this is a competitive cultural offer which is developing in the Pays Royannais and an uncertainty over the operation of the rooms of the Côte de Beauté relay with renovation work which should begin in 2025”, underline the elected representatives of the CA . If Créa has lost its DNA, there is still a new story to write around local cinema. A page turns.

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