The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported today that the Texas Ballet Theater has cancelled its October trip to an international arts festival in Shanghai. In addition to being unable to raise the last-minute $70,000 needed for the trip, the group is facing “ongoing financial and managerial problems that have resulted in an operating budget deficit estimated at $400,000.” Part of the problem may be artistic director Ben Stevenson’s lavish productions, but the TBT has not had a development director — the chief, official fundraiser — since May 2005, Andrew Marton reports. Ballet chairwoman Robin Arena said that, in hindsight, “we now understand that our novel approach of having several volunteers instead of a single professional fundraiser was not a very successful solution.”
On the other hand — speaking of the financial affairs of arts organizations — the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra announced its 2007-2008 season wasn’t just an artistic success (including its Carnegie Hall debut), it was a budgetary one, as well. Closed the books with a surplus — even after adding $2.2 million to the endowment fund, which now stands at $28 million.