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Subject: "Outrage at Telegraph Article" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #963
Reading Topic #963

27-09-00, 02:39 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail eugene%20 Click to send private message to eugene%20 Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"Outrage at Telegraph Article"
   I resent Lebrect comments about "bean counters". If they all listen to us there would none of the castastrophes over the dome and the ROH!!

Actually Lebrect has a point. With two fine orchestras in Manchester (Halle and the BBC Philharmonic) there is no need waste money on a third orchestra. Major symphonic orchestras unlike ballet companies do not have that much a different repertoire.

On another point I was in Arizona last week for a vacation (weather forcaster describes the weather as "cooling off to 98 degrees!") and there was a lot of publicity about Ballet Arizona. They were about to go under needing 200000 dollers to meet payroll. Fortunetly two wealthy citizen donated a lot of money. Also in a rare spirit of co-operation The Phoenix Symphony orchestra passed a donation plate around the audience during one of their concerts. Could you imagine the London Symphony Orchestra doing that for the ROH!

Ballet Arizona is the only professional dance company in Phoenix (population over 4 million in the metro area). However they said that they only need the cash to tide themselve over to November. Then they received ticket sales from the Nutcracker and then everything will be ok!

So the moral of the story is that a ballet company can never have too many Nutcrackers!!!! They pay for the triple bills etc which loose money.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article Jonathan 30-09-00 1
  RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation Alexandra Tomalonis 01-10-00 2
     RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation Eugene Merrett 02-10-00 3
         RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation Alexandra T. 02-10-00 4

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30-09-00, 11:55 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Jonathan Click to send private message to Jonathan Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article"
In response to message #0
   >I resent Lebrecht's comments about "bean
>counters". If they all
>listen to us there would
>none of the castastrophes over
>the dome and the ROH!!

Are you saying that the ROH and the Dome conducted their business without ever listening to their accountants? Or are you taking a leaf (no pun intended) out of British Rail's book and saying that they had the "wrong kind of accountants?"

>Actually Lebrect has a point.

So you're outraged and resentful, but he's right. Life's hard, eh?

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Alexandra Tomalonis

01-10-00, 06:25 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation"
In response to message #0
   May I add a word about the situation in Arizona? I happened to have followed that rather closely. I know the arts funding model is very different in America than in Britain, so it may be of some interest to know how they raised the money.

The company's board suddenly announced on Friday, September 15th that the company would close its doors the following Wednesday if it didn't raise $60,000 to make payroll. The board also said that the company needed an additional $300,000 to cover operating expenses for the next six weeks, until the income from "Nutcracker" ticket sales kicked in.

The company raised $100,000 over that weekend, and the board extended the deadline until the following Friday. The company managed to raise the entire $360,000 by that deadline. Three wealthy citizens contributed large amounts -- one chipped in the last $100,000 the company needed. But $150,000 was raised in smaller amounts, from the hat passed at the symphony to checks in the several thousand dollar range. Two little girls from the ballet school -- both 7 years old -- organized a toy sale, and older students did a car wash; that raised nearly $4,000. The company took donations over its web site. The dancers worked the phones all week calling subscribers for additional donations and previous and potential subscribers for subscriptions. A manager of a local theater donated the theater for two nights for a gala (that was this weekend). It was a tremendous demonstration of community support for the company, as well as determination on the part of everyone in the company to work to survive. They *hope* there will be enough revenue from "Nutcracker" to get them through the rest of the season. There's still a substantial debt (nearly $1 million) left over from the previous administration.

We have some government funding for the arts here, but not for operating expenses. Most of it seems to go to educational and outreach programs, occasionally as "seed money" for a special festival or project.

Another, much older and larger company, the Cleveland Ballet, closed its doors at the same time. It had suffered a deficit for several years, apparently, and had tried to serve two cities thousands of miles apart -- Cleveland, Ohio and San Jose, California. Cleveland shut down, but the new San Jose Ballet of Silicon Valley (with the same artistic director and many of the dancers) was established in its place.

We've had, as economists say, a "robust economy" and "unprecedented economic growth" here, but it's not going to the arts. One problem seems to be that the new technorich are younger and not accustomed to giving to the arts -- not just dance, but any art.

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Eugene Merrett

02-10-00, 06:27 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation"
In response to message #2
   The increasing transfer of wealth from the cultural old elite to the younger yuppie class and the consequent decline in art funding was discussed at length in the Arizona Republic newspaper.

It is apparent that "new money" is not so respectful of cultural then old money. Pity!

But I thought there was a growing trend in the States for cities to build cultural centers to regenerate downtown areas.

I guess the trouble is that the same local governments are not prepared to fund performance groups to utilize these gleaming palaces of culture.

Maybe regional touring companies are the future. The trouble is that fundrasing is much harder for a company that has no home or loyal support to raise funds. it is like having a football team that has no home - how does it get fans! Perhaps that explains the demise of the Clevland San Jose Ballet!

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Alexandra T.

02-10-00, 08:21 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Outrage at Telegraph Article/Ballet Arizona situation"
In response to message #3
   Eugene, I don't know the details in Cleveland, except that the company has been in trouble for years, apparently. Cleveland is also in a part of the country that's generally in decline, compared to the coasts and the southern areas.

In Phoenix, apparently at least part of the problem has been that people in a position to give, young or old, haven't really been asked. I think this may be a problem in a lot of places here, when ballet companies (any arts organizations, really) are always underfunded and rely on volunteers and/or overworked staffers. There isn't time to do what needs to be done, and perhaps there isn't the knowledge. It looks as though what's happening in Phoenix now is partly a new executive director who knows how to fundraise (think of that!). The company had a benefit performance last night (hosted by a movie star, Patrick Swayze, who's from the area and a former ballet student) to which many likely donors were invited, many of whom had never been to a ballet before -- and they reportedly liked it.

In America, some politicians recruit volunteers to drive voters who are too ill, too old, to poor or too lazy to get to the polls by themselves, to the polling places. Maybe that's the next thing for ballet -- physically drag them in, and maybe they'll like it.

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