Reporting on the cuts that various Atlanta arts groups are making to stay afloat, Drew Jubera and Pierre Ruhe write in Thursday’s (3/19) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Just Wednesday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced the first phase of its plan to help counter the economy. Between April 3 and May 31, ASO president Allison Vulgamore, who earns $436,738, will take a 7 percent salary cut, the four vice presidents will take a 6 percent cut and the 68 other administrative staffers will take a 5 percent cut. After June 1, the administration will take unpaid leave, ranging from 13 to 18 days. … ASO’s Vulgamore said music director Robert Spano and the conducting staff will make undisclosed ‘contributions’ back to the ASO. Vulgamore is in talks with the 95 unionized musicians to also trim their earnings.” Orchestras across the country face similar economic challenges and are coming up with a variety of solutions, though the long-term impact of the situation is unknown. “ ‘No one has a crystal ball,’ said Jesse Rosen, League of American Orchestras president. ‘I think we’re entering a new reality.’ Yet Rosen added there’s an element to this new reality that he calls ‘stimulating.’ Already, many arts groups have hatched new schemes to attract audiences, reduce costs and find new revenue.”
Posted March 19, 2009

Photo: (Left to right) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, President Allison Vulgamore, and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles
Credit: J.D. Scott