The recession has forced In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre in Minneapolis to temporarily close its doors and lay off its staff.
The theater will be closed from Dec. 26 through Feb. 11. The move will trim $200,000 from the theater's $1 million annual budget.
In the Heart of the Beast's Executive Director Kathy Foran says the theater is taking preemptive action to shore up its long-term health. Foran says the theater's situation isn't necessarily dire, but it does need help.
"This is a sign of, 'All hands on deck.' You know, we're taking on water," said Foran. "If people value what we bring to the community, we need you up on deck helping us come up with some ideas to make sure we get through this, because no one knows if we've hit the bottom yet."
Foran says the move to temporarily close was prompted by cutbacks in funding from foundations, and the decision by a major funder not to give to the arts anymore.