Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Financial gloom

Chris Gray in the Houston Press reports on declining arts funding nationwide. A snip:

"Inevitably, the worsening financial situation has begun to spread to the arts. The New York Times reported last Tuesday that venerable companies such as New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have already been forced to cut back in areas like number of rehearsals and even health insurance. Upcoming performances have already been canceled in Detroit and Pasadena, California.

Fine-arts organizations find themselves in an especially sticky set of crosshairs. Besides the obvious fact that leaner times generally make grants and donations harder to come by — from individuals, foundations and corporate patrons alike — the endowments that safeguard these groups' financial security are often tied up in investment portfolios, not exactly the most stable sector of the market lately. The Times reported the Philadelphia Orchestra's endowment, for example, shed $60 million in a few short months."

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