Two articles in the Columbus Dispatch detail the ups and downs of local arts organizations struggling in the sagging economy. Some are faring well in the current economic storm.
Unfortunately the Columbus Symphony is still struggling even after drastic cuts last year. I hope the leadership of the Columbus Symphony takes a good look at the ideas of Michael Kaiser, as I suggested in a previous post, The Art of the Turnaround. It's never too late to redirect the organization more creatively. You can also hear an interview with Kaiser by Christopher Purdy HERE.
The first article is Staying Alive
Amid the worst economic downturn in a generation, a surprising number of central Ohio arts groups say they're holding their own -- or, in a few cases, thriving.
From the treasures of ancient Egypt to modern jazz, some arts-related offerings are succeeding at the box office with tried-and-true or distinct programming viewed as a good value in lean times.
"History has proved that the entertainment business can navigate a bad economy better than other segments, but you've got to be smart about it," said Bob Breithaupt, executive director of the Jazz Arts Group.
...Single-ticket sales for ProMusica concerts have increased 39 percent during the past two years, said Executive Director Janet Chen. Subscription sales are up, too, but to a lesser degree.
"Arts thrive in recession times, even going back hundreds of years," she said.
To be sure, belt-tightening (and worse) is taking place in the arts, especially among groups with high overhead and production costs, such as operas and orchestras.
Both the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus are selling fewer season tickets and receiving less corporate, foundation and individual support than in previous years.
Charting the ups, downs of area arts groups supplies the facts behind the first article. In general, the smaller organizations are doing better, but none are impervious to current economic stresses.