Leaders of Buffalo, Rochester orchestras lobby in state capitol

Posted on: February 25, 2010

In Wednesday’s (2/24) Buffalo Business First, James Fink writes, “Already operating on a razor-thin budget, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s executive director will lobby state lawmakers to restore proposed funding cuts by Gov. David Paterson. Dan Hart, the BPO’s executive director, will be joined by his counterpart from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra—Charles Owens, on Wednesday for a meeting with a joint legislative committee on Arts and Tourism. Hart and Owens are concerned about Paterson’s plan to cut $6.5 million from grants allocated to the New York State Council on the Arts that comes on top of a $1 million cut he already made. … Hart noted collectively the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse orchestras have a combined operating budget of $25 million, but 80 percent of that is returned directly into their respective communities. The three orchestras play to more than 1 million residents annually in a 40-county Upstate region and represent 320 full-time employees. … New York, Paterson said, is facing a budget gap this year that will exceed $8 billion. He has proposed funding cuts to a number of state programs and agencies, including the closing of 57 state parks. ‘We are definitely counting on that state money,’ Hart said. ‘Rochester is and so is Syracuse. This will hurt us.’ ”

Photo: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director Dan Hart (right) with Music Director JoAnn Falletta
Credit: Jim Courtney

Posted February 25, 2010