Arts organizations depend on revenue from holiday shows
Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic
Amber Taylor stood in line with her husband for a preperformance drink on opening night of San Francisco Ballet's annual "Nutcracker" at the War Memorial Opera House and recalled dancing in the holiday classic as a kid in Marin. "I haven't been to the ballet in 15 years," she said. "My husband bought the tickets to surprise me."
"I knew it would make her smile like that," said Matt Taylor, beaming at his wife.
Nearby, Roisheen Doherty of North Beach smoothed the hair of her 4-year-old daughter, Hannah. Their outing, with another mother and daughter, was Doherty's first night at the ballet in six years.
Audience members like these are focused on the warming pleasures of nostalgia and tradition when they attend holiday shows such as "The Nutcracker" and the San Francisco Symphony's "Messiah." But for the arts organizations themselves, the holidays mean big business, and a big chunk of their annual budget is covered by the tinsel, trappings and plastic snowflakes of the seasonal fare. Some impressive numbers affirm the pattern...
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