Things are tough all over, not least at Overture Center, the gleaming downtown art box. Overture's board of directors has approved a $5.6 million operating budget for Jan. 1-June 30, 2009, and there are depressing cuts in store. Among them:
- 14.8 full-time staff positions will be eliminated. Four of those positions are vacant; layoffs are due Jan. 16, 2009.
- The Children's Arts Festival is cancelled.
- The May 7 concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is cancelled.
Also in the works are reductions in the Kids in the Rotunda, OnStage, Duck Soup Cinema and Overture After Work series. That's bad news for locally based performers, who have figured prominently in these events. Overture recently touted these outlets for local artists in its 2007-2008 annual report. Meanwhile, the city of Madison's Overture subsidy goes up 4.3%.
The full press release from Overture announcing the cuts and budget changes is available in the related downloads at right.
Overture, like businesses and organizations everywhere, is having to adapt to grim financial realities. These cuts aren't pleasant. Local arts fans can only hope they'll be enough.