Local and Industry News

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, the arts and culture sector contributed over $760 billion to the national economy in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available.

The arts accounted for 4.2 percent of the economy, nearly as much as the entire food and agriculture industry.

A report by the Society of London Theatre tells that London theater box office revenue exceeded 700 million pounds last year. Attendance was also up five percent, topping 15 million patrons for the first time in the 30 years they have been collecting data.


Comcast has made an all-cash offer of $31 billion to take over Sky TV. The offer is 16 percent more than the offer made by Fox, which already owns 39 percent and is facing regulatory hurdles in its takeover bid.

Spotify is seeking $1 billion in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Spotify has 159 active monthly users and 71 million paid subscribers, far more than its closest competitor, Apple Music. Spotify is expected to be listed the first week of April.

iHeartMedia has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The conglomerate owns more than 850 radio stations, the iHeartRadio streaming service, a concert business, and outdoor billboards. The filing will allow the company to restructure its $20 billion in debt while maintaining operations.


The Alabama Symphony has ratified a new three-year agreement. The agreement raises wages 1 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year. Substitute and extra pay is also being increased in an effort to have it equal to ASO scale in the future.

The New York Philharmonic has a new three-year contract. The new agreement raises wages by 4.5 percent over the next three years.

The Atlanta Symphony has ratified a new three-year agreement. The agreement raises wages by three percent a year and maintains 88 full-time positions after restoring 11 positions in the previous agreement.

The Metropolitan Opera has fired music director emeritus James Levine. After opening an investigation in December and interviewing 70 people, the Opera has found credible evidence that Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct. Levine had conducted at the Met for over 40 years.