"Insurmountable financial difficulties" was the official word, and IBP employees, ex-employees and board members were tight-lipped about adding any details.
But everyone's favorite bogeyman is at least partly to blame: the Internal Revenue Service.
In reality, that's not true: The blame should go to IBP management, who somehow thought it was okay not to pay payroll taxes to Uncle Sam. Sam, it appears, thinks otherwise.
No one is talking for publication still, but people who know the situation confirm that an ongoing tussle with the IRS helped to trigger the seemingly out-of-the-blue announcement. (There are other rumors about finances, but no one's willing to go anywhere near confirming those.)
The company is expected to declare bankruptcy, and its key members hope to re-form as a completely unrelated entity.
But won't the private donors and arts organizations who gave them grants be a little pissed that the money was mismanaged?
"I think people know the artistic staff had nothing to do with any of this," one former IBPer said. "So if we started a new organization, I don't think it would be held against us."