In Sunday’s (5/9) Sarasota Herald Tribune (Florida), Jay Handelman writes, “After a bruising season at the height of the recession that led to budget cuts and layoffs, most of Sarasota’s major arts organizations enjoyed a resurgence in attendance during the 2009-10 winter season.” Most Sarasota arts organizations report ticket sales and admissions increases of between 5 and 20 percent. “While ticket sales for Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks concerts were down about 10 percent, marketing director Gordon Greenfield said the organization enjoyed success for its pops, Journeys to Genius and chamber concerts, which were up about 16 percent, for an overall decline of 5 percent, about $100,000 below budget expectations. A report by the League of American Orchestras says that the percentage of the U.S. population that attends classical music events declined 20 percent between 2002 and 2008, while increasing in some segments of the population. But a more varied program may cause a shift in those numbers. The results suggest that ‘younger baby boomer audiences are looking for high stimulation events and concerts,’ said Greenfield, ‘and that’s why the Journeys to Genius, which are multimedia events playing traditional classical music, are so successful.’ ”

Posted May 12, 2010