Bingo: A new revenue stream for Louisville arts?

Posted on: June 2, 2010

In Monday’s (5/31) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Andrew Adler writes, “In his long climb to the top of the heap as general director of Kentucky Opera, David Roth’s training included the usual college degree, intermediate stints at various opera companies and the general cognizance of all things vocal. He most certainly did not anticipate an open-ended residency at Bingo City. Yet, here Roth was on a recent Thursday morning, busily stapling together small stacks of numbered squares while a horde of eager players sat at row after row of well-worn folding tables. … Welcome to the front lines of arts-group fundraising. While typical strategies of raising money emphasize asking corporations and individuals to contribute, organizations such as the opera and the Louisville Orchestra are seeking alternative strategies. And one of these is bingo. … There were some doubters initially, recalls Tonya McSorley, chief financial officer of the [Louisville Orchestra]. ‘When we first considered doing bingo,’ she said, ‘there were board members who said, “Consider (our) reputation—do we really want to associate bingo with the Louisville Orchestra?” But when you consider that corporate funding is slowing down, and individual giving sometimes going down, this is more money we can try to tap into.’ ”

Posted June 2, 2010