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January 21, 2010

New study finds big growth in organizations, big lag in money

No surprise, but it still hurts: The first National Arts Index released this week by the Americans for the Arts doesn't present an upbeat picture.

The good news is that more and more nonprofit arts groups have been created -- from 73,000 to 104,000 since 1998; the bad news, one out of three went into the red. There are other good news/bad news items, like the one where demand for the arts in this country is down, but the demand for arts education is up (more college degrees in the arts over the past decade).

The study suggests that the arts world won't even hit the bottom economically until 2011, before the financial side of things starts to improve. Keen.

There's more, including the usual bits about dwindling audiences and funding resources, but I'm too depressed to detail it here. Feel free to read/download it for yourself.

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:55 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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