Tired of bad news? A dose of cheer from the arts management trenches
February 28, 2009
It’s easy to feel depressed by constant stories about our flailing economy–and the news can be especially bad for arts organizations sometimes. Yet, every now and then, an uplifting news item crosses my virtual desk. A few recent snippets:
Good News Item #1:WFMT. Chicago’s classical radio station raised a record-breaking $513,221 in its 11-day winter membership drive that ended last Monday. Strong work, classical music fans!
Good News Item #2: Nevada Opera. One might not think of Nevada as a hotbed of opera and opera fans, but recent events prove otherwise. About a month ago, Nevada Opera was on the brink of collapse and planned to close if it could not raise $100,000 in the next four weeks. Amazingly, community patrons stepped up and donated about $165,000, including a $50,000 challenge grant that was easily matched. While the org still has some debt, “La Boheme” opens in April.
Good News Item#3: Arts revenues are in better shape than we thought. Patron Technology and Target Resource Group conducted a nationwide December survey of arts orgs and learned that 47% of the 300+ responding orgs had exceeded their 4th quarter holiday budgets and 10% had met budget. Which is pretty good news considering that many orgs expected ticket sales to decline in lockstep with the Dow.
Good News Item #4: Asheville Lyric Opera. Facing a $24,000 budget shortfall, the Asheville Lyric Opera’s board was scheduled to vote at its next meeting on whether to cancel its March 27-28 production of “Rigoletto.” But by the time of the meeting, the company had received almost $22,000 in pledges–and so the show will go on. Fundraising is continuing, as well as very strong drive to sell tickets. Let’s hope they pull it off!