In order to increase funding for Slope Day, the Cornell Concert Commission (CCC) gave $30,000 of its own funds to the Slope Day Programming Board on Thursday.
“We’re very appreciative of everything the Concert Commission has done for us and thankful of their generosity,” said Mandy Hjellming ’09, chair of the Slope Day Programming Board. “It will definitely be significant to the success of Slope Day and the artists that we bring.”
The Board of Trustee’s 5-percent budget cut approved on Jan. 25 reduced the University’s ability to cover the costs of Slope Day. As a result, the SDPB is forced to make up for an estimated $70,000, which would be directed towards logistical and infrastructural expenses.
“We started the year out with a lot more money for programming.” Hjellming said. “We have to put more funding towards costs now.”
With money from the CCC, graduate and undergraduate activity fees and University funding, SDPB now has around $230,000 to spend for all of Slope Day.
According to Hjellming, the CCC’s $30,000 donation will allow the SDPB to direct more money towards attracting the day’s entertainment.
“This will help us allocate funds for programming and bringing artists to Cornell,” Hjellming said. “With a significant increase in the programming budget, we will hope to attract larger artists on the slope and maybe an opening act.”
While the $30,000 increase helps Slope Day funding, the programming board is still down a net loss of $40,000.
“We are exploring potential funding sources and working with other groups on campus,” Hjellming said.
When asked about an increase in GPSA funding, Hjellming said that she hasn’t spoken to assembly members directly and is unsure of their ability to provide extra funding.
Justine Fields ’10, executive director of the CCC, explained that it is not unusual for the CCC to provide funds for Slope Day to bring in musicians. While in recent years the CCC has not assisted with funding this much, she said that there have been other times where they funded to a similar extent.
In explaining the motivation of the CCC to give the $30,000 to Slope Day, Fields said that this semester the CCC already has a “pretty packed schedule.” It is planning on putting on three concerts this semester: Stars at the State Theatre on Feb. 6, Ludacris at Barton Hall on Feb. 28 and Girl Talk at Barton Hall on April 5, according to the CCC’s website.
The CCC’s other alternative for utilizing the donated money was to try and put on an additional show this semester. Fields said that trying to put on four shows during one semester would put a lot stress on the members of the CCC.
Not only did giving the money for Slope Day funding pose an easier solution for the CCC, but also Fields pointed out the Slope Day concert will have a much bigger audience than any potential fourth concert the CCC could have tried to put together.
“There is no bigger music [event] than Slope Day [at Cornell],” Fields said.
The CCC could afford to give the $30,000 to Slope Day not only because it went toward achieving their overall goal as an organization, but because the CCC receives funding at the beginning of every fall semester by the Student Assembly (SA). Fields expressed the hope that the CCC’s funding by the SA would, if anything, increase in future years because of the rising costs of attracting big-name musicians to come to campus.