Among the supplicants was Lawrence Tamburri, the president of the Pittsburgh Symphony, which received $1 million from the RAD last year but got only $900,000 in the board's current budget, announced earlier this month.
The RAD board gave the PSO a larger grant on a one-time basis last year, when the orchestra was struggling with a deficit of $3 million. This year, the PSO posted a small surplus.
Tamburri asked the board to reconsider the cut, pointing out that the PSO is adding more educational and community outreach. "We understand that public support comes with an obligation to give back, and we take that commitment very seriously," he said.
The RAD has a total budget of $74 million, which is drawn from a 1 percent sales tax collected in Allegheny County.