Cleveland Orchestra reports first budget shortfall since 2005

Posted on: December 14, 2009

“Much like the housing, job, and retail markets,” writes Zachary Lewis in Friday’s (12/11) Plain Dealer, “the Cleveland Orchestra is suffering at the hands of the recessionary economy. On Friday, the institution is set to release its annual report for fiscal 2009, a document detailing the institution’s darkening financial situation in several key categories. The orchestra will report its first deficit since 2005, a shortfall of $2 million, on a budget of $43.7 million. That figure itself was trimmed mid-year in response to the worsening financial picture, from $44.6 million. The deficit comes despite an injection of nearly $2.3 million from special bridge funds raised as part of the orchestra’s five-year turnaround plan, now in its final year. … More dramatic were losses sustained by the orchestra’s investments. Over the course of the year, the endowment declined in value by more than $27 million, from $124.4 million to $97.2 million. The fund was worth $142 million as recently as 2007. Ticket sales and revenue from other local activities also declined, by 5 percent, from $12.5 million to $11.9 million. Meanwhile, giving by corporations and foundations dropped from $4.9 million to $3.8 million."

Photo by Roger Mastroianni

Posted December 14, 2009