Jenny Larson joined the Salvage Vanguard Theater as an intern and performer in 2002. By 2008 she had risen to Artistic Director and brought with her new position the desire to continue producing cutting edge new American theater and to build a vibrant space to host local artists and art patrons.
Renovation of their existing building began with the assumption that they had funding lined up. The funding however, fell through, leaving the Salvage Vanguard Theater with debt that was crippling for the first several years the venue was open. Eventually, Jenny was referred to PeopleFund by a former board member and in 2009 received two different loans to repay their debt.
The Salvage Vanguard Theater was a one of a kind arts space in Austin when it opened, with visual arts, film, dance, puppetry, theater, music, and comedy all under one roof. They program the space well, with artists known throughout Austin as well as nationally and internationally. From a critically acclaimed puppet troupe to cutting edge American theater, it is “the artists that call SVT home that make SVT a success. “
They are currently almost at the end goal of paying off their debt, and the space is thriving with bookings typically done a year in advance. Jenny says the SVT will continue to create and present a transformative high quality artistic experiences and foster experimentation and conversation.
Jenny says the best part about having your own business is that everything falls on you, the owner. No one else is responsible for whether or not the business sinks or swims. It is a lot of pressure, but at the same time the reward makes it worth it. She has control over the vision and the future of the company, and that is thrilling.
Her advice for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business? “It is harder than you think! It is a difficult journey. It is also thrilling and an excellent challenge. I am a person who loves a good challenge. There will be ups and downs, and it is inevitably a very expensive journey. You have to be willing to make a big financial sacrifice. It also requires a lot of energy and presence. A successful entrepreneur is in constant motion and in constant conversation with the world around them.”
For more information about Salvage Vanguard Theater please visit their website.