August Wilson Center conservator paints grim picture

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In her first interim report to the court filed Friday, Judith Fitzgerald, conservator of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, painted a grim picture.

Ms. Fitzgerald, appointed Nov. 18, wrote that she has since laid off all but three employees, who work primarily in accounting. Balances in direct deposit accounts were nominal or zero, she wrote, and financial books and records were incomplete.

The center continues to face threats of utilities being shut off, Ms. Fitzgerald wrote, adding she will seek a motion stating utilities and contract providers can’t discontinue services without a court order.

After meeting with groups that had previously funded the center, the conservator wrote that mortgage obligations are making foundations unwilling to provide funding. That money would be used for a feasibility assessment, retention of a realtor and engineering firm and paying operating and professional expenses, she wrote.

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