April 28, 2010, 06:00 AM ET
Metropolitan Opera Sought Donors' Consent to Free Endowment
Facing financial pressure last year, the Metropolitan Opera asked donors to lift restrictions on how the organization used their gifts, allowing the group to shift money from its endowment to cover operating costs, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Met freed about $22-million from its restricted endowment and used about a third of the money for operating expenses during the current season. The group's general manager, Peter Gelb, said the organization "felt it needed to take these steps to address its mounting financial burden" during the 2009 fiscal year, during which its costs were more than double its earned revenue.
In other arts news, the Met appointed Fabio Luisi to serve as its principal guest conductor. The Met's longtime maestro, James Levine, continues to suffer health problems, The New York Times writes.
Also, Los Angeles arts advocates are gearing up to fight proposals by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to end free access by nonprofit groups to city buildings and to shift $415,000 in competitively awarded cultural grants to groups of his choosing, reports the Los Angeles Times.
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