Pittsburgh arts groups looking to Regional Asset District for funding

Posted on: September 1, 2010

In Wednesday’s (9/1) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mark Belko writes, “In recent years, Andrew E. Masich, president and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center, has seen his state funding cut in half. Next year, it could evaporate altogether. Asked how the history center would cover such a huge loss, Mr. Masich replied, ‘That’s a good question.’ He then raised his eyes toward heaven. He was not the only one perhaps looking for divine intervention Tuesday—or at least a helping hand from the Allegheny Regional Asset District—as local arts and cultural groups struggle to cope with the twin evils of a sour economy and drastic cuts in state funding. … Also sounding a sour note was the Pittsburgh Symphony, which closed its fiscal year Tuesday with $2 million deficit. It also is projecting an $800,000 shortfall in the new fiscal year, board chairman Dick Simmons said. … Like the history center, the symphony also has seen big cuts in state funding, from $2.5 million at one time to $750,000 in the just-ended fiscal year. It also saw its RAD funding cut by 10 percent in 2010. … The symphony is asking RAD for $1.25 million in 2011, a $350,000 increase over the $900,000 it received this year. It also will try to boost ticket sales and further cut costs to make ends meet.”

Posted September 1, 2010