CSO Might Lose Arts Council Funding

If the Columbus Symphony Orchestra hopes to resurrect itself for a fall season, it might have to do so without funding from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

A grants committee at the Greater Columbus Arts Council has recommended against funding the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s up-coming season which had already been in doubt. Contract talks between the orchestra’s board and the musicians union broke down earlier this month; the board telling players it had no money to pay them after the end of May. Arts Council President Bryan Knicely says the grant committee’s recommendation will be discussed during a public meeting May 27th.

“The grants committee recommended the symphony not receive general operating support because they felt the symphony would not be here after June 1st. The full board has to review that recommendation and make a decision based on what they know at the time.”

Knicely says a whole host of scenarios could mean the financially troubled Orchestra might still receive funding in the future.

“The symphony could have a contract or term paper in place by May 27th; that’s one scenario which would mean they could potentially come back for operating support. Another scenario: they don’t have a contract in place and they don’t get operating support but they reorganize somehow and they come back for project support,” Knicely says.

Last year the Greater Columbus Arts Council granted $260,000 to the CSO. The orchestra’s budget for the current season is $13.5 million.

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