Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra President Lynda Willner hates to
even think about how funding cuts will change her group’s ability to
bring free concerts to the city’s residents.
“We received a $7,000 cut last year,” Willner said of a city grant
that went from $16,000 to $9,000.
That was before the state’s $35-billion shortfall was announced,
and Burbank began looking at cutting 10% from all of its programs,
including grant funding.
Adding to the dire state of the arts in California, Gov. Gray
Davis’ proposals include a 50% drop in grants funding from the
California Arts Council.
“No agency in California will escape this,” council spokesman Adam
The Victory Theatre Center has received funding from the state
council for more than 15 years.
"[That grant] has been cut twice,” Artistic Director Maria Gobetti
said. “We received an award and then received notice that it will be
cut by 5%, and may be cut again.”
Before the 5% cut, the theater was promised $4,000, down from
$7,000 the previous year.
Like other local groups, Gobetti cannot yet pinpoint how the
24-year-old group will adapt to the cuts.
Many of the groups fill in gaps left by an already artistically
ravaged school system. City grant money has funded John Burroughs
High School music programs -- covering transportation and operations
costs -- and Burbank High School summer band camps and scholarships.
Capital improvements for school theaters have also benefited from
Other city programs that could see increased fees or decreased
programs include the Creative Arts Center and the Starlight Bowl,
said Mike Flad, director of Park, Recreation and Community Services.
“We’re heading into a budget crisis ... people should be prepared
for it,” Flad said.
Officials from the Media Dance Arts Center are concerned about how
they will fill the void left by reductions to state and county
sources that normally fund larger fine-arts groups. However, the
center’s dance classes might benefit from the lack of arts
programming in schools.
“We may see an increase as individuals will look for fine-arts
sources outside of school systems,” the company’s board president
Cindy Pease said.