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Arts groups cut costs, ponder next act

February 06, 2009

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    February 06, 2009
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    Opera Carolina News

Arts groups cut costs, ponder next act

As corporate and individual wealth plummets, it’s anything but music to the ears of Opera Carolina and other arts groups.

The new financial reality means the scramble to save precious dollars is replacing arias and props at center stage. In recent months, James Meena, the opera company’s general director, and his chief financial officer have taken self-imposed salary cuts. Opera Carolina also has trimmed 6% of its operating budget, frozen staff salaries and watched its endowment plunge 26%.

And the months ahead look even grimmer. The opera and other cultural groups are bracing for Arts & Science Council grants to drop 6% to 20% when the new fiscal year begins in July.

“There’s no shortage of challenges out there,” says Lee Keesler, the ASC’s chief executive. “We need the sun to break through the clouds a little bit.”

Charlotte Business Journal
by Erik Spanberg
Senior staff writer

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