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The Union-Tribune filled a big chunk of its front page today with a story about the financial footing of local arts organizations, coinciding with the national convention of Americans for the Arts, which kicks off here today.

The U-T’s James Chute wrote that many San Diego arts organizations find themselves “not exactly back to normal” after the recession, “but at least on solid ground.”

The story’s headline, “Arts groups blooming in harsh economic climate” didn’t mesh with some of the difficulties described in the story. And just as the ink was drying on today’s paper, one prominent arts group delivered this news:

Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts, a 30-year-old veteran presenter of “cutting-edge performance,” told the U-T in a separate post today that it’s dissolving.

From the first story:

In a review of the financial statements of 16 San Diego County arts organizations from 2006 to 2010, the Union-Tribune found that local government funding was relatively stable, but other sources of income, including ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, declined as audiences, patrons and businesses felt the crunch of a wide-ranging economic downturn.

(We shared details of the top 10 and bottom 10 groups receiving city funding in this recent post.)

Some groups cut staff over the last few years, the story says. Others groups cut their programs. Some did find fundraising success this year, the story says.

What do you sense is the financial climate for arts groups in 2011? Where have you seen the biggest hits come at your favorite arts groups — to programming? Staff? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

The U-T also included a budget overview for a few powerful arts groups for 2010. You can see how some pieces of their budget compare to 2006, too, and check out their chief executive’s pay.

See anything in the U-T’s chart that surprises you? Or do you see something you think I should follow up on? Leave a comment or drop me a line by clicking the link below.

I am the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531. Or you can keep up with me on Twitter @kellyrbennett or on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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