Quincy House Shoulders Debt From Arts Festival

A large debt left over from last spring's Quincy House Arts Festival may force severe reductions in Quincy social activities.

Susan N. Loth, Quincy House secretary, confirmed yesterday that the Arts Festival had left the House responsible for a debt of about $4800, and that cutbacks on funds for such activities as tutors' entry-way parties were being considered as a possible solution.

Charles W. Dunn, Master of Quincy House, refused yesterday to discuss either the debt or the possible cutbacks.

Loth said that funds had been eliminated for the well-attended weekly student-faculty sherries, for wine at special House tables, and for wine at the upcoming Newcomers Dinner. She denied, however, that these cutbacks were related to the debt, and said they had been planned before the Arts Festival.

Loth said she was reluctant to discuss the circumstances or consequences of the debt, but said a meeting of House associates was planned for next week to discuss ways to handle the debt.


There was nearly universal agreement that the debt was a result of poor planning and management. Douglas F. Reid '75, treasurer of the Quincy House Committee, said yesterday that the organizers of the Festival had expected to meet expenses through admissions and contributions from Quincy House parents and alumni.

Over Estimates

Gary R. Spilsted, teaching fellow in Music and chief organizer of the Festival said yesterday that his planning committee had over-estimated what it could expect from these resources. He said that the producers of many of the shows had expected much higher attendance.

William L. Scherlis '74, a technical adviser to the Arts Festival, said that the poor publicity and "improper money management" from which the Festival suffered could have been avoided if businessmen, not artists, had been responsible for the financial affairs.

He said that House productions had declined in recent years because not enough people were interested purely in the business aspects of production.

The Festival might have broken even had Quincy not sponsored two expensive productions, the musical, "Superman," and the operas by Stravinsky and Henze at which attendance was minimal, Scherlis said.

Eliot F. Gerson '74, president of the House Committee, said the House Committee had been awed last spring by the impressive list of artists scheduled to perform in the Festival, and had assumed that the business aspects of it were equally well-planned.

The House Committee provided about $700 in support of the Festival.

"I don't think enough of Quincy House was brought into the planning," Gerson said, and he added the House Committee would support future Arts Festivals, which he considers "one of the best things in the House," only if there were tighter financial control