Economy batters N.C. Symphony

RALEIGH, N.C. — Amid dwindling donations and looming cuts in state funding, the North Carolina Symphony is taking drastic measures to keep its doors open, The News & Observer reported April 24.

The group has canceled upcoming performances featuring prominent musicians and conductors, reduced the number of pops concerts and canceled a planned European tour.

And at a recent concert, lead conductor Grant Llewellyn took the unusual step of asking for donations.

“As much as I like to dream and build castles in the sky as a musician and artistic director, I have to be realistic about the economy,” he told the News & Observer.

The symphony, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, has not cut back on its visits to schools to provide educational concerts.

Revenues for the organization, which has an annual budget of $13.6 million, are down and it has borrowed $3.4 million of its $5 million credit line.

For the past 15 years, the symphony has received $1.8 million a year from the state, with an additional $500,000 each year over the last six years. The Senate now is proposing the state cut that additional $500,000 infusion.

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