Arts advocacy groups face financial challenge

Posted on: August 9, 2011

In Monday’s (8/8) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin reports that “arts advocacy and service groups in New York are struggling to sustain themselves at a time of scarce resources. The advocacy groups find themselves competing for financing against the very cultural organizations they were created to support, which in turn can no longer afford the dues required by some of the groups that advocate for them.… In tough economic times, arts advocacy can seem like a luxury, but cultural experts say this is precisely the time when institutions need their cheering section. ‘Often our board members are supporting theaters they love, so we’re one step removed,’ said Virginia Louloudes, the executive director of the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York, an advocacy organization for nonprofit theaters in the city. ‘We really have to explain better what it is we do.’ That means explaining how supporting the arts doesn’t just mean supporting art or artists, but the restaurants near the theaters, the hotels people stay in to see the ballet and the taxis people take to museums. ‘In times like this advocacy is even more important,’ Ms. Louloudes said, ‘not just to fight for the dollars, but to let people know the value arts bring to the community.’ ”

Posted August 9, 2011