In Tuesday’s (3/3) USA Today, Andrea Stone writes, “The downturn walloping the entire economy has hit non-profit arts organizations especially hard. With millions of people scrambling to pay for food and other basics, a night at the opera can seem frivolous. So museums, symphonies, theaters, ballet companies and opera companies have cut staff, canceled performances, shortened seasons and, in some cases, shut down. The worst may be yet to come. Jesse Rosen of the League of American Orchestras says season subscriptions to performances, which are sold a year ahead of time, mask the full impact. ‘It’s the second year when it catches up,’ he says. … As foundation grants and private donations dry up, arts groups become more creative.” Stone notes that in a troubled economy, many see the arts as less important or legitimate than other sectors, an attitude which Robert Lynch of Americans for Arts calls, “ ‘uninformed and perhaps disingenuous.’ His group estimates that non-profit arts organizations generate $166.2 billion each year in cultural and related spending such as restaurants and parking, and they produce $30 billion in tax revenue and 5.7 million jobs.”
Posted March 6, 2009

Photo: Symphony Hall, Boston
Credit: Stu Rosner