In Wednesday’s (1/5) Oregonian (Portland), David Stabler writes, “Performing arts groups have long known that ticket prices can be a barrier to attendance, but that’s about to change. Beginning today, Jan. 5, low-income Oregonians can buy tickets to symphony, opera, ballet, chamber and vocal music for $5 each. A dozen groups in Portland have joined Music for All, a six-month pilot project to make concerts more accessible. The program is aimed at people with Oregon Trail Cards using the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). Unsold seats at most performances will be available for $5, even those in the best locations that would normally cost up to $140 at Oregon Ballet Theatre, for example. … SNAP enrollees can buy tickets by showing their Oregon Trail Card and paying with their own money—benefits can’t be used to buy tickets. In November, there were 86,758 SNAP households in Multnomah County. … Participating groups include the Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Friends of Chamber Music, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Portland Piano International, Portland Symphonic Choir, Cappella Romana choir and Portland Vocal Consort.”

Posted January 6, 2011