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Financial troubles and a leadership shakeup at Artistry, a prominent Bloomington-based arts nonprofit, has impelled leaders to delay an upcoming musical production. 

Kevin Ramach, the organization's executive director since 2019, resigned last week. 

Ramach's departure and other challenges were revealed Wednesday in a letter signed by Artistry Staff and Board of Directors.

"The leadership of Artistry recently discovered that our liabilities outweigh our forecasted revenue for the coming months," the letter stated. "This has deeply impacted our ability to serve the artists, students, audiences, and community as is our stated mission."

The organization, based within the Bloomington Center for the Arts and founded in 1955 as the Bloomington Civic Theatre, is one of the Twin Cities' leading producers of musical theater. 

The organization was one of the first local, amateur theaters to perform musicals with a full orchestra. The productions later became a place to witness both seasoned, professional actors and rising stars in the Twin Cities. 

The lights were expected to go up next month on a production of "Godspell", but the musical has now been slotted for summer instead. 

In Wednesday's letter, Artistry leadership said profound challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic have been exacerbated by "missed opportunities for strategic financial planning, transparency, and engagement." 

The organization brought in newcomers Ben Bakken and Allyson Richert to lead as co-artistic directors on Sept. 6 — the day before the board accepted Ramach's abrupt resignation. 

KD Bauer, director of creative strategy, said Artistry staff are now working closely alongside the board. 

Bauer declined to comment further on the organization's outstanding liabilities, citing concerns about jeopardizing future funding opportunities and relationships. 

However, the Star Tribune reports Artistry is facing a $600,000 shortfall. The organization's past due accounts even led a publishing company to withhold sending rehearsal books for "Godspell". 

In addition to theater, Artistry curates art exhibits and offers classes and workshops throughout the year, drawing 82,000 audience members annually. 

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