Wednesday (1/26) on the Central Arkansas news site Today’s THV, Amanda Terrebonne writes, “If you ask the leaders of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, they’ll tell you the recession was good and bad. Bad for the all the cuts they had to make; but good with some new adjustments that seem to be making the product more appealing. … [Executive Director Christina] Littlejohn says full and part-time players agreed to less pay as the economy forced nearly $400,000 in cuts over the last two seasons. … ‘I think one of the things the economy did was force us to look at data and go yeah, audiences are declining, donations declining, what we need to do to reverse this trend,’ Littlejohn said. The strategy included cutting ticket prices as low as $14 for some concerts, offering new season ticket holders ‘Buy One Get One Free’ deals and letting kids come free with paying adults on Sunday. ‘This year what we’re seeing is paid attendance is up 20 percent overall. We’re reversing a trend we haven’t seen in five years,’ Littlejohn said. … She says they’re dependent on donations to break even but some recent help there includes symphony board members increasing their giving by 250 percent over the past two seasons.”

Posted January 27, 2011