We interupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you the following public service announcement:
Attention Smithies past and present who are not currently in the valley:
The Academy of Music closed yesterday. The move is publicly being called a "hiatus", but the staff has been entirely laid off, including the General Manager who had been with the theater for more than 30 years. The decision was made by the Board of Directors, which includes Northampton Mayor Mary Claire Higgens and Smith's President Christ. The theater, which is the 6th oldest in the country, is owned by the city of Northampton and primarily funded by donations. The Board plans to honor all current contracts for live events scheduled at the theater, but beyond that its future is unclear.
I know how upset I would have been to come back from J-Term and find the Academy closed. The staff wasn't really notified: those that were there Tuesday evening found out when Board members arrived and told them. Others found out with the rest of the city on Thursday morning, when it hit the papers.