Laurence K. Rubin, commissioner of environment and planning for the county, has designated $500,000 out of the county's current $2.7 million arts budget for the orchestra.
The funds represent about three-quarters of what the orchestra was originally slated to receive. Earlier this week, in response to the budget gap anticipated by the lack of county funding, the BPO cancelled five concerts from its remaining season.
The BPO is one of six cultural organizations that will benefit from the restored funding; other organizations are the Buffalo Zoo (receiving the most money, with $1.2 million), the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Studio Arena Theatre, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Smaller organizations are overlooked in the current budget. According to Rubin, the organizations favored with funding are those that "represent a major capital investment by this community over the last 50 years and...where significant new investments will be going in the next few years."
There is some warranted skepticism about whether the money is actually forthcoming, since uncertainty about county funding has been ongoing for some time. The News had earlier reported that Rubin backtracked on the $2.7 million figure, saying that the amount of money available for arts was subject to suits from other departments whose budgets had been slashed.
"It's certainly a lot better than nothing," said Angelo M. Fatta, BPO board chair. "I just hope it's true."