La Scena Musicale

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Economic Crisis: Little impact on French arts and music groups

The French association ADMICAL, founded in 1979 to promote business support for the arts, report that 73% of enterprises that have donated indicate their budget for arts support will remain stable. Another 14% report their budget will decrease but 11% indicate that it will increase. Admittedly, donations are only a small part of the budget of most organizations, but government support - always central to the budgets - shows no sign of change and there is even a tiny bit of "stimulus" money to be distributed by the Ministry of Culture. In a recent article in the French magazine Telerama, the same trend is observed with an actual increase in museum and theater attendance noted in many cases. While there have been minor cuts from the various government entities dolling out money to arts groups, these have not had an overall impact on the general artistic health of most institutions. The Aix-en-Provence Festival, whose fat ticket prices make up a large part of their income, has made slight reductions this summer but there are few other signs of caution. Interest in the arts remains high, attendance at concerts and opera is strong. Best of all, the support of smaller music and arts groups, including most theaters - all not funded by the state - has seen no significant falloff. But the words "not yet" are always in the background.

Frank Cadenhead

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