Sacramento Philharmonic, Opera to merge

Posted on: January 28, 2013

In Sunday’s (1/27) Sacramento Bee (California), Edward Ortiz writes, “Two of the biggest arts presenters in the region—the Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera—have decided to merge operations, effective July 1. … The new organization will operate under the tentative corporate name of the Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance. The merger forms one board of directors from the two current boards, effectively turning the two nonprofits into one. The decision was made at a meeting Tuesday of both boards, with each board voting unanimously to merge, said Jane Hill, interim executive director for the philharmonic. Each organization will keep its artistic identity and name. ‘They will be like subsidiary companies,’ said Hill. The merger is intended to strengthen the economic sustainability of both organizations. The SRPAA will operate on a $1.8 million budget in 2013-14. That budget is lower than the present combined budgets of both organizations of $2.1 million. … Such mergers are still rare in the arts nonprofit world, but are becoming more common. … The mergers bring benefits and pitfalls. ‘Sometimes there is the belief that there will be major cost efficiencies, and there has been somewhat of a tendency to overemphasize what that benefit is,’ said Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras, the lead advocacy organization for the nation’s orchestras. ‘But surely there will be some overhead savings.’ ”

Posted January 28, 2013