Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh my 2...

Here is another article about the Atlanta Symphony's financial plight:  It raises more questions for me, the answers to which the ASO board probably has answers, but here goes:

1.  Is it the core mission of the ASO to sponsor popular music concerts in North Atlanta?  Are the operational costs of the facility offset by ticket revenues and naming rights,and do these generate a surplus for the ASO classical programs?

2.  Why was the Verizon Amphitheater even needed when the ASO plays at the Chastain Amphitheater and Symphony Hall in the summer?

3.  Who actually owns The Verizon facility? Is it Woodruff or the ASO or some other organization? Who has to absorb any annual losses?

4.  Has the ASO spread itself too thinly by taking up too many activities?  Does this account for the ASO's budget being relatively large in comparison to major national orchestras that are more highly regarded?:

  1. Los Angeles Philharmonic $97M (2011)
  2. Boston Symphony Orchestra $84M (2011)
  3. San Francisco Symphony $72M (2011) 
  4. New York Philharmonic $69M (2012)
  5. Chicago Symphony Orchestra $65M (2011)
  6. Philadelphia Orchestra $46M (2011)
  7. Atlanta Symphony $46M (2010) 
  8. Cleveland Orchestra $42M (2012)
  9. Cincinnati Symphony $38M (2012)
  10. Pittsburgh Symphony $32M (2010)
  11. National Symphony $30M (Washington Post, 9/05) 
(from the American Orchestra league).

Because not-for-profit organizations are not obligated to disclose board discussions, it is difficult to assess what ASO management has concluded related to these issues. 

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