The New York Times posted a very interesting article yesterday looking at the (astronomical) salaries of the chief executives of a number of American cultural institutions. It appears that many of these head honchos have responded to the downturn in their organsiatsions income and lead from the front by slashing their salaries; like Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera who graciously cut his $1.5 million salary to $1.3 million over 2 years. Once I’d stopped spluttering into my tea, I pulled out a couple of sideline points that I found interesting – Gelb in particular took a pay cut due to “declining donations, ticket sales and endowment”. Now across the pond we’ve also seen a decline in donations and endowments, but ticket sales are on the up by what I’ve been seeing, certainly in London. What does this tell us about American audiences? Are they reigning in their spending so much that they’re not going out at all? Or are they going elsewhere, and if so where?
Audiences London produced a guide to “What to do in a Downturn” back in March 2009 when we first started to see impacts of the recession on the cultural sector. Download this free guide from the AL website here.