Are Certain Cities’ Arts Communities Suffering More?

I just saw this headline about the Seattle Symphony on ArtsJournal:

Reinventing the Seattle Symphony, presto“: The troubled orchestra has run up an $11 million deficit, but it suddenly has a compelling strategy for turning things around. The goal: become “a contemporary orchestra.” There is nothing surprising per se about a symphony in financial trouble; in recent years, so many symphonies have been forced to close or re-consolidate due to rising labor costs, graying audiences, declining audience engagement, overly expensive buildings, and poor management.

But it reminded me of a serious hullabaloo/crisis that emerged in 2010/2011 around the Intiman Theater in Seattle, when they had to close for a season and let go of newly appointed Artistic Director Kate Whoriskey (on of my favorite theater directors–I still dream about her Bleak House at The Goodman in Chicago) due to a massive budget crisis.

It seems that several of Seattle’s leading arts organizations are suffering very intensely. I wonder if the local funding ecosystem (ugh) was unduly harmed by the Great Recession, or if there is a lack of strong Board members in the City (unlikely?), or is this just a coincidence of two cases of bad management. It’s probably just because Seattle is a mid-sized American city that lost jobs and was hit hard by the recession. But it smells funny to me.

Any Seattle-ians out there want to fill me in?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Larkin Callaghan

Global Health & International Development: Strategy and Communications

Audience Development Specialists

Audience development beyond arts marketing

tales of work, unemployment and those activities in between


the subjective perspective of an analytical optimist

Steve Blank

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Onward and Upward - Keeping an eye on the nonprofit sector, from the bottom up

Keeping an eye on the nonprofit sector, from the bottom up

Brad Lichtenstein's blog

Behind the scenes of What We Got: DJ Spooky's Journey to the Commons

All Our Tragic

By Sean Graney. 32 Greek tragedies adapted into 1 play.

Rebecca Makes Plays

from scratch. all the time.

%d bloggers like this: