Helping arts grow

Arts Stabilization: Four valued mid-sized organizations join the program.

May 09, 2000

A GREAT puppeteer must do more than make puppets dance. They must be fed. The arts organization needs to raise, manage and spend money effectively, or the puppets are on their own.

Major arts organizations employ professionals in these exotic disciplines. Smaller organizations must master fiscal arts on the side.

That's why it is reassuring that National Arts Stabilization and the Baltimore Arts Stabilization Committee have taken on a second round of mid-size clients. These four diverse organizations are firmly rooted and growing. They enrich the lives of Baltimoreans. Each must manage its resources well to achieve its artistic goals.

The four new kids in school are the Baltimore Choral Arts Spociety, Everyman Theatre, Fells Point Creative Alliance and Young Audiences of Maryland. Each will send a staffer to management class and accept scrutiny. The reward for lessons learned would be grants of up to $60,000.

National Arts Stabilization is a nonprofit agency, based in Baltimore, which strengthens arts organizations across the nation. The Baltimore Arts Stabilization Committee is a consortium of local donors.

The first participants, in 1992, were the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Opera Company, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Center Stage, Maryland Institute College of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. By every financial index, they thrived in the 1990s.

Last year, Arts Stabilization turned to mid-size groups, taking on Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Clayworks, the Contemporary Museum and the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center. The new quartet joins them.

These organizations have to help themselves to survive and grow. Fortunately, National Arts Stabilization and its Baltimore partners are showing them how.

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