In a word, the cultural outlook is dreary. At least, that’s what respondents indicated when asked about their outlook toward economic conditions at their orchestra by the end of the season. On the bright(er) side of things, although respondents indicated a slightly lower level of confidence about current economic conditions, those levels were still 10 points higher than the all-time low experienced over the 1/18/2009 polling cycle…
Conversely, the outlook on economic conditions by the end of the season reached the highest levels of “poor” since polling began in October, 2008. Likewise, this polling cycle generated the lowest combined positive confidence levels in future economic conditions; in particular, both of the positive options (“excellent” and “good”) garnered zero results. The chart below illustrates the changes in confidence levels over the poll’s duration.
At the same time, the latest polling cycle did generate some positive economic news is the fact that the final stimulus package approved by congress managed to stave off attempts to cut the $50 million National Endowment of the Arts allocation (NEA). It will be interesting to see if those funds will have impact on cultural confidence levels, especially since the NEA has announced that it will release details on how it plans to distribute those funds later this month.
In the meantime, keep your eyes on the news from the NEA, sharpen your grant writing pencils, and take a moment to cast your vote for the current polling cycle: VOTE NOW.