Philadelphia Orchestra board president: bankruptcy is best chance for survival

Posted on: May 20, 2011

In an opinion piece in Wednesday’s (5/18) Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Orchestra Board President Richard B. Worley writes, “The Philadelphia Orchestra is in a financial crisis, and the board of directors believes bankruptcy gives us the best chance to save it. … No single factor motivated our decision. For years, our costs increased as revenues declined, and our operating deficit is expected to reach $14.5 million this year. In the face of such deficits, we drew down our unrestricted endowment and, as that dwindled, raised $15 million in emergency funding from the board and a small group of donors. Today, our unrestricted endowment is nearly exhausted, our emergency fund has also been depleted, and our cash reserve has fallen to $3 million. Absent additional funding, we will run out of money soon. … Our decision was no clever trick to remedy a problem we could have solved outside bankruptcy. … We face real challenges, but we have a plan to reverse the trends and return to long-term stability. It focuses on artistic initiatives, customer and patron service, increased marketing, and rebuilt fund-raising capacity.”

Posted May 20, 2011