Durango Telegraph - Of festivals and finances
Of festivals and finances

Like most arts related not-for-profits facing a dismal global economy, Music in the Mountains is experiencing a drop in donations, grant money and sponsorships. Susan Lander, the festival’s executive director, said the response she heard most often this year when approaching philanthropic foundations was, “Not art!” The rejections were particularly upsetting coming from organizations typically supportive of cultural endeavors. Lamenting further about fund-raising efforts, Lander admitted this has been the hardest year ever because of the economy. “It took longer than ever to get enough to meet out most basic needs,” she said.

According to Denise Leslie, MITM communications manager, funding is down about 20 to 30 percent this year, and attendance is expected to drop to around 13,000, down from last year’s 15,000.

However, Landers is still out there trying to raise funds and help reduce costs wherever possible. The number of pages in the usually lush, full-color, event program was also trimmed. Those looking for bios of orchestra members will find them sadly absent.

Of course, the most important concern for Music in the Mountains is to continue providing world-class performances with the highest-caliber musicians, and to that end, this year’s season is exemplary. Previewing the schedule of concerts suggests it will be every bit as good as the previous 22 years, if not better.

– Stew Mosberg

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