In Tuesday’s (9/1) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mark Belko reports, “Battered by the recession and threatened with potential cuts in state funding, some of Pittsburgh’s biggest arts and cultural groups are looking to the Allegheny Regional Asset District for a lifeline. For more than two hours yesterday, 17 groups made pitches to the RAD board for funding, mostly increases, to help stem the tide of red ink or to avoid further cuts in bare bones budgets. … Lawrence J. Tamburri, president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra … said the symphony is facing a $670,000 deficit in 2010 even after saving $400,000 by laying off nine people, cutting artistic programs, and suspending a chamber orchestra series. Top administrators also took a pay freeze, which will remain and be extended to the full staff in 2010. Mr. Tamburri said the problems are a result of the economy and endowment losses caused by stock market plunges. The symphony is asking for an increase of $250,000 in its $1 million grant this year. But it won’t object much if funding stays flat. ‘Every dollar counts,’ he said.”

Posted September 1, 2009