The Performing Arts: History and Issues—an Ongoing Crisis? A Growing Crisis?

  • Joanne Scheff Bernstein


The nonprofit performing arts industry in America and many performing arts organizations around the world are facing crises on a variety of fronts. In April 2011 the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the largest and most well-respected orchestras in the United States, filed for bankruptcy, facing a structural deficit of $14.5 million and other economic woes. The orchestra has since exited from bankruptcy protection, but continues to face financial challenges. In 2010, the Detroit Symphony found it necessary to make drastic cuts in musicians’ salaries to help rectify their shortfall of $8.8 million. Following a six-month strike, the musicians settled for a 23 percent salary cut. These situations are not unique.


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© Joanne Scheff Bernstein 2014

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  • Joanne Scheff Bernstein

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