The arts did not escape the tumult of 2009, mainly as fallout continued from the global economic meltdown that sent many businesses and nonprofits scurrying for cover by cutting costs, downsizing and selling assets.
The year started with the shocking news that Laguna Playhouse would sell an adjacent property at 580 Broadway that had been purchased 11 years earlier to grow the theater. A few months later, the property was sold with proceeds going toward a campaign to “strengthen the playhouse,” officials said.
While Laguna Playhouse officially gave up its expansion plans, Laguna Art Museum reported a massive deficit in October, with more than $500,000 lost over the last fiscal year. Later that month, the James Irvine Foundation came to a partial rescue with an infusion of $375,000.