New York City Opera launches a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million

The "People's Opera" is desperate for funding, and may cancel its upcoming seasons—but you can help.

Anna Nicole

Anna Nicole Photograph: Pari Dukovic

New York City Opera has been trying to dig itself out of a financial hole for the past few years, but it looks like its next few seasons are on the chopping block. According to The New York Times, the 70-year-old "People's Opera" says they'll have to cancel most of this and next season unless they can raise $20 million in a year, and at least $7 million by the end of the month. Like so many creative ventures, the company has turned to crowd-funding: NYCO has launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise at least $1 million.

Since its inception in 1943, City Opera's mission has been to bring accessible, emerging artists and performances to Manhattan, but a depleted endowment and a few financial missteps have taken a serious toll on the company's funds. Things have apparently become so dire that without a significant lump of fund-raising cash, the company will have to cancel three upcoming 2013–14 productions, and the entire 2014–15 season is also in jeopardy. (On the bright side, the opera's production of Anna Nicole, a joint effort with BAM about the life and death of late model and TV personality Anna Nicole Smith, will go on as planned, funding or no funding.)

The company hopes that a Kickstarter campaign will help jump-start its fund-raising efforts, and as of around noon today, they've raised $28,005. Rewards include special downloadable desktop wallpaper, tickets to select productions, commemorative artwork and tote bags, a free City Opera class and the opportunity to attend the company's spring gala.

[h/t The New York Times]

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