Friday, May 9, 2014

MCPS cash hasn't kept Strathmore out of the Red - $2.9 Million

When Strathmore Music Hall opened in 2005 one of the ways that the management sought to get word out about the facility was by using MCPS students and having them visit on  field trips. In turn, the students' parents would be informed of the existence of the music hall.  
After meeting with MCPS the idea was hatched to bring in 2nd graders for concerts.  In 2010, MCPS 5th graders were added to the annual concert field trips.
Since 2010, MCPS has paid the Strathmore Hall Foundation $517,200 out of the MCPS Operating Budget.  There is no public information as to the total MCPS contribution to the Strathmore Music Hall since 2005.

Unfortunately, as Joe Hawkins writes in his Bethesda Now column, the Strathmore Music Hall is currently running a deficit of  $2,942,945.

Looks like the plan hasn't exactly worked out as expected.


  1. I'm a music teacher and I can't afford much of what Strathmore puts on. They're not going to make money off people who can't afford to attend their shows, no matter how wonderful they are.

  2. And it is going to get even less affordable as they expand into the old White Flint Mall.

  3. Are you suggesting that MCPS should be fully funding Strathmore's operating costs? Or that taking students to music concerts is a waste of money?

    1. WHY should MCPS be responsible for making Strathmore a success? Yet, that is exactly what was planned! The plan was to bus students over to Strathmore for ANYTHING. The concerts were made up as a way to get the students there. The goal was to get the name Strathmore in front of parents and advertise the existence of the venue.

      Is taking students to concerts a waste of money? What concerts are you talking about? Washington, D.C. has many FREE events - including musical events - that MCPS students could visit or attend for FREE. The Strathmore concerts are trumped up to fund the venue. They were not concerts selected by teachers for students to attend. They were concerts that were created, and then teachers were forced to write curriculum to match them. Isn't that backwards? Shouldn't field trips be selected by teachers for their ability to enhance the existing curriculum? What if a teacher has another musical experience that they want their students to attend. Oh, sorry. Too bad. You are forced to support 1 venue that is in financial trouble. Curriculum be damned.

      The MCPS Operating budget does not exist to promote Strathmore. Sorry, that's not the purpose of the public school system as enacted by the legislature.


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