Free concerts that have been a Tucson summer staple for 50 years have hit a sour note.
The Tucson Pops Orchestra may not have enough funding to keep the “Music under the Stars” program going.
The orchestra says the city government is not giving the program any more money, either.
“Music under the Stars” is at risk, Tucson Pops Orchestra site
…It is one of the few remaining city events where citizens of all ages and backgrounds come together in a safe environment.
The new realities:
• The cost per each concert in the park is $13, 000
• This year’s funding of $27,000 is a significant reduction from the $35,000 the Pops has received in prior years.
• The last two concerts of the spring season scheduled for June 7th and 14th will most likely be cancelled due to lack of funding.
• The current budget proposal before the Mayor and council calls for ZERO funding for the Pops in 2010.
• For the first time, the city is treating the Pops as an “outside” agency. This is a reversal of 50 years of policy which included the Pops as a program within the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Pops urge folks to write letters or attend the city’s 2 p.m. budget meeting Wednesday (today).
More info: www.tucsonpops.org/
The free concerts are one of the events that help make Tucson’s summers special. Heck, you can even bring your dogs to the things.
When budgets get crunched, art, cultural events and music tend to get bumped. This is a shame, since those are some of the things that make life worth living.
By no means should money be scraped away from public safety or other vital entities, but there should be a way to fund the arts.
Are you a “Music Under the Stars” fan?
Are the free concerts worthy of saving or do you think money should be allotted for other things?
How important is art, culture and music in the grand scheme of life?