In this week’s (July 24-30) New Mexico Business Weekly , Megan Kamerick writes about the creative way the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra is confronting the recession. “In an unusual move, it’s borrowing money from a newly formed limited liability corporation. NMSO Building Fund LLC raised $655,000 from about 20 investors. The funds it is lending the NMSO have alleviated the orchestra’s immediate cash flow issues so it can focus on long-term management, [NMSO President and CEO Eric] Meyer said. The NMSO has used the funds to pay off about $120,000 remaining on its mortgage at 4407 Menaul Blvd.NE and will use the rest for operations. The investors will get a return of 6.5 percent on the money, and the LLC has the right to the building if the NMSO defaults on the loan. … The plan caught the attention of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is including it in a report to Congress on how nonprofit cultural institutions are coping with the recession. John Bence, spokesman for the League of American Orchestras, said he is not aware of any other orchestra taking this step. … ‘This is pretty indicative of the creativity organizations are showing in this crisis, particularly orchestras,’ Bence said.”

Posted July 28, 2009