Curtain calls

Compiled By Linda McIntosh


Concerts. Theatrical performances. Art exhibits. The local arts scene is poised to offer many uplifting inspirational moments this year. We talked with the directors of nine area institutions and gave them center stage to share their plans.

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

  • Erika Torri, Joan & Irwin Jacobs executive director
  • Annual budget: $1.3 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 100,000
  • Goal for 2010: “Finish the fiscal year with a balanced budget and restore salaries and benefits to 2008/2009 values.” (They were cut due to the recession.)

La Jolla Playhouse

  • Christopher Ashley, artistic director
  • Annual budget: $11.7 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 100,000
  • Goal for 2010: “To advance theater as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow.”

La Jolla Art Association

  • Kristine deYoung, president
  • Annual budget: $30,000-$35,000
  • Number of patrons annually: 1,000-1,200
  • Goal for 2010: “To get approximately $50,000 in tax-deductible donations, since we are a 501.3.c, to be able to continue operating as an art organization with a gallery.”

La Jolla Music Society

  • Christopher Beach, artistic director
  • Annual budget: $3.2 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 37,165
  • Goal for 2010: “The Chopin Bicentennial Celebration. La Jolla Music Society will be partnering with the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Youth Symphony and the California Ballet to present a Chopin Bicentennial Celebration honoring the 200th birthday of Frederic Chopin with 16 concerts throughout 2010.

“La Jolla Music Society has invited six different pianists to give their interpretations of Chopin’s music and opens the celebration with a recital by Garrick Ohlsson on Jan. 15. This celebration will include not only Chopin’s works for solo piano, but also, all of his works for piano and orchestra, all of his chamber music, as well as his songs. The ballet ‘Les Sylphides,’ set to Chopin’s music, will be performed by the California Ballet. This will be the largest Chopin celebration in the United States.”
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

  • Hugh M. Davies, The David C. Copley director
  • Annual operating budget: $7.3 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 164,000
  • Goal for 2010: “To continue to serve as a laboratory for contemporary art by presenting exhibitions that showcase the dynamic work of both emerging and established artists. We are excited about several upcoming exhibitions that embody this goal, including Pleasure Point in February 2010, an exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Contemporary Collectors acquisitions support group; followed in the summer by ‘Here Not There,’ a large-scale survey exhibition of San Diego artists.

“In March 2010, we will present new works, created specifically for our downtown Jacobs Building, by four young artists, including San Diego’s own Lael Corbin. Also downtown, we will present a citywide street art exhibition, ‘Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape,’ in the summer.”
Del Mar Foundation

  • Maile D’Arcy, executive director
  • Annual budget: $200,000
  • Number of patrons annually: No patron count has been taken. There are four summer concerts, and Powerhouse Park is full each time. First Thursdays is subscription-based and is sold out each season, limited to seating at the Powerhouse Meeting Center.
  • Goal for 2010: “The Del Mar Foundation has a very successful Cultural Arts program, which includes First Thursdays and the Summer Twilight Concert Series. Our goal for 2010 is to expand our Community Grants program and educate the community on our Gift Planning opportunities.”

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

  • Steven Schick, music director
  • Annual budget: $388,000
  • Number of patrons annually: 10,000
  • Goal for 2010: “Finding a sponsor to help finance the San Diego premiere of Tan Dun’s multimedia extravaganza, ‘The Map,’ in our 2010-2011 season.”

San Diego Junior Theatre

  • Desha Crownover, artistic director
  • Annual budget: $1.3 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 55,000 (including audience and youth in school programs)
  • Goal for 2010: “In our 62nd season, San Diego Junior Theatre is looking forward to building on our history and bringing our audiences the highest-quality productions possible. We plan to do this by bringing in San Diego’s talented arts professionals, including Ed Hollingsworth (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) and Steve Anthony (SDJT’s premiere of ‘Fame’), to direct our talented young students.”

North Coast Repertory Theatre

  • David Ellenstein, artistic director
  • Annual operating budget: $1.7 million
  • Number of patrons annually: 45,000
  • Goal for 2010: “To create even greater theater for San Diego County.”