Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicago Tribune: 'Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Center for Black Music Research face budget cuts'

[Florence B. Price: Concerto in One Movement, Symphony in E Minor; New Black Music Repertory Ensemble; Leslie B. Dunner, Conductor; Karen Walwyn, Piano; Albany Records TROY1295 (2011)]

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble and the Center for Black Music Research, both based at Columbia College Chicago, will face reduced budgets and newly defined missions, according to a “Blueprint for Action” report issued by the school and obtained by the Tribune. The plan is subject to adoption by Columbia's Board of Trustees in late June.

Both the CJE and CBMR have been under threat of elimination, in the wake of an earlier “Blueprint: Prioritization” report suggesting ways in which Columbia College Chicago could reduce expenses.

The Center for Black Music Research will continue “at a reduced budget and with a tighter focus on key activities,” says the “Blueprint for Action” report. “Going forward, the college will continue to support the center at the fiscal year 2012 level with the expectation that the center must raise at least $200,000 annually to augment the college’s support. The CBMR staff will focus its work on three activities, the Black Music Journal, the biannual conference and the archives. The center will discontinue all other activities, unless these activities are sponsored 100 percent by outside funding.”

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