According to a report from WXIA (provided by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and written by Ryan Mahoney), Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue decided against granting a $50 million request from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The ASO requested the money as part of their gorgeous $300 million Santiago Calatrava designed concert hall project…
Back in the early part of December, 2005 I published an article entitled A Little Too Much Faith In The Government? which examined the ASO’s $50 million State Legislature bid and expressed some concern for their plan given the recent collapse of the Virginia Performing Arts Center (VAPAF) in Richmond, VA. The VAPAF assumed they would receive sizeable donations from local and state governments but in reality, they received very little of what they counted on. Once those donations failed to materialize they were at the mercy of inquisitive community advocates who uncovered a multitude of questionable accounting practices.
Thankfully, the folks in Atlanta aren’t approaching challenges of that magnitude; however, ASO development director Paul Hogle was quoted in the 12/07/06 edition of the Atlanta Journal –Constitution as saying that the entire building project would be put on hold for a year if the state funding to the tune of $50 million didn’t come through.
In a perfect world, the ASO prepared a “Plan B” they can put into action ASAP in order to prevent the project from getting derailed for a full year. If not, they will be forced to begin the unpleasant (and very difficult) task of fighting a fundraising battle on multiple fronts; secure the stalled government funding while simultaneously searching for additional untapped funds.
However, according to the WXIA report the ASO might add another front to their campaign; Mr. Hogle was quoted as saying the ASO is working on securing state funding in 2007 while also looking for added support from another government source: Atlanta City Hall.
The Santiago Calatrava designed building is a stunning work and it would be a shame to see the project come apart at the seams. Let’s hope the ASO is better connected to their local government than the folks in Richmond.