Thursday, October 30, 2008

RI arts groups: contributions, ticket sales down

Seventy-two percent of Rhode Island arts organizations are seeing a downturn in contributions and 58% say they are selling fewer tickets for their events, according to the results of a survey of more than 30 arts groups that the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts released this morning. The report indicates that small and medium-size arts organizations (with budgets under $1 million) are even more heavily affected, with 89% saying that contributions are down.

With incomes down, 57 percent of arts groups are cutting programs, the report says.

The survey is part of a year-long strategic planning process by RISCA. Arts groups, the report says, suggested that RISCA could help them through these tough economic times by promoting the arts to potential audience members as well as government and business donors and serving as a matchmaker between arts groups and donors.

RISCA Executive Director Randall Rosenbaum says in a press release: "This is a significant problem for all Rhode Islanders, not just the many who enjoy and participate in the arts. If you go to town on a night when the arts community is in full swing you see restaurants and cafes full to overflowing. It's the same all over the state. The arts are a quarter-billion dollar business in Rhode Island. An active and healthy arts community is important to our state's economy. Weaken that community and you've done real damage to our economy."


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