May 4 on the news site San Diego News Network, Valerie Scher writes about the economic challenges faced by multiple cultural groups in San Diego. “The recession is ‘testing everybody in the arts community as they have never been tested before,’ says Edward B. ‘Ward’ Gill, executive director of the San Diego Symphony, the city’s oldest musical institution, which celebrates its centenary next year. ‘We are being forced to be the most creative we have ever been.’ … No local music organization has proven its resilience more than the San Diego Symphony, which survived a near-fatal financial crisis and two-year shutdown in the 1990s. … Yet running a major symphony orchestra remains costly, with special projects putting an extra strain on the budget. Now in question, due to funding issues, are the orchestra’s first Asian tour, in 2011, and its debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which highly respected music director Jahja Ling would lead in 2012. … Corporate contributions to the institution have declined by $300,000, with overall donations dropping approximately 10%, but the orchestra still plans a $90 million endowment campaign…. ‘We’re all struggling, but you know what? We’ll get through this and be the stronger for it,’ Gill says.”

Posted May 11, 2009