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County Withholds Mad Cow Theatre's Funding Amid Money Troubles

Image: Mad Cow Theatre logo,
Image: Mad Cow Theatre logo,

The Orange County Commission has withheld $75,000 in funding for Mad Cow Theatre.

More than 100 artists have signed a petition to boycott the downtown Orlando theater, many alleging late payments or no payments at all. And according to the Orlando Sentinel, the theater also owes more than $300,000 in rent payments for its downtown location on Church Street.

Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards said it’s a serious matter if a group getting county funding isn’t paying its artists.

“We certainly want Mad Cow to succeed," Edwards said. "On the other hand, they need to fulfill their responsibilities as a recipient of Orange County art and cultural funding.”

The county will keep the funding in reserve until a plan is in place to get the theater back on track. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said she's glad the county will hold onto the money and not allocate it for something else.

“I think it makes sense for us to look at this carefully," Jacobs said. "I share those concerns. And I think we need to understand whether they’re going to be able to get to a financially sustainable model and what that’s gonna take.”

Calls to Mad Cow Theatre were not immediately returned. In a previous statement, Mad Cow Theatre’s board of directors said the theater has debt, but it’s considerable less than a few years ago.

"We’re making it right, and we’re doing it as quick as we can,” the statement reads.

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