Denver arts weathering recession

Posted on: February 2, 2009

In Sunday’s (2/1) Denver Post, Kyle MacMillan comments on the current economic downturn. “So far, at least, things don’t look as bad in Denver as in some other parts of the United States. Planning and fundraising for the $33 million Clyfford Still Museum and $90 million overhaul of Boettcher Concert Hall are on schedule. Some local arts organizations have been forced to pare their budgets by as much as 12 percent, but virtually none has had to resort to layoffs or major cuts to programming. … Since the opening of its 2008-09 season in September, the Colorado Symphony’s ticket sales are running about 15 percent below projections. But Kevin Duncan, chairman of the orchestra’s board, said it’s hard to know whether that shortfall is attributable to unpopular programming choices or the economy. In terms of contributions, the orchestra’s fiscal year 2009 foundation support is running above last year, and individual donations are meeting projections. Only corporate gifts are down.” The orchestra “will probably present the same number of concerts as usual in 2009-10. But Duncan anticipates it will hire more guest conductors and soloists with smaller fees and program more works that don’t need soloists at all.”