Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Local Arts Organizations Struggle To Keep Afloat.(Final)

Byline: David Steinberg Journal Staff Writer

* War and poor economy blamed by many for fewer ticket sales and donations

If one song title epitomizes the collective financial woes of many local arts organizations, it would be the disco-era tune "Stayin' Alive."

The worst-case scenario seems to be Musical Theatre Southwest. It almost closed last week in the face of mounting debts and poor ticket sales in its first two shows this year. But it's being resuscitated.

Officials of other arts groups contacted by the Journal have been trying to cope with -- and perhaps turn around -- lower ticket sales and fewer donations.

Generally, they place the blame for the revenue drops on the economy and the war in Iraq.

Kevin Hagen, executive director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the state's largest arts group, said that if its season had ended last week, the NMSO would have been in the hole $150,000 on its $3. …

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