In Sunday’s (5/10) Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Mark Price reports, “The Leon Levine Foundation has committed to giving $25,000 to the financially strapped Charlotte Symphony. Foundation board members learned of the symphony’s urgent cost-cutting in a story in Friday’s Observer, including a request that players renegotiate the contract governing their pay and benefits. The money will help the symphony cover the bills, said Jonathan Martin, the organization’s president and executive director for the past year. … The symphony is also hoping to cut administrative costs by $250,000 through staff layoffs, furloughs and other measures beginning this week, officials said. The Observer story noted a fundraising effort is also being launched by the symphony, which is what inspired Sandra and Leon Levine to kick in an early $25,000 gift. ‘Mr. Levine felt it was too important of an asset to the city’s cultural landscape,’ said Tom Lawrence, vice president of the foundation. ‘After reading about the challenges the symphony is going through, the foundation felt something had to be done to spur people to give.’ ”

Posted May 13, 2009