Tue January 25, 2011
Newport festivals going non-profit
By CATHERINE WELCH
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Newport Jazz and Folk Festival founder George Wein says his age and not financial woes is why he's formed a non-profit to run the festivals.
The 85-year-old says he wants to know the festivals will continue after he's gone. He's been running the festivals since 1954, and sold them back in 2007 only to return two years later.
Last fall the Newport Jazz Festival lost its corporate sponsor and is still looking for a replacement. Wein says that's not why he's going non-profit.
"Our festivals are not a bottomless pit. Our festivals have been so controlled budget-wise over the years that we know exactly what we need in case we have a sponsor, in case we don't have a sponsor," says Wein.
He says he will make a major donation, but wouldn't say how much.
Part of the Newport Festivals Foundation mission will be to support a small educational program in Newport schools.
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