A recession is never a pretty picture, especially for arts and culture nonprofits, which rely heavily on private donations and visitor attendance.
Arts organizations around the country laid off workers last year, adopted hiring freezes or cut other expenses in response to a falloff in private donations and government grants. In California, the Santa Clarita Symphony, Sacramento Ballet and the Opera Pacific in Santa Ana all canceled parts of their 2009 seasons, while the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles struggled to keep its doors open amid government budget cuts.
In the Tri-Counties, which prides itself on being an arts mecca, some organizations have seen their budgets and endowments decline through the economic downturn. Others have held steady but have ramped up marketing efforts and tightened their belts.