The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival took in far less money than expected this year, so the foundation that oversees it has laid off half its small staff and may have to cut back on charity gi

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival took in far less money than expected this year, so the foundation that oversees it has laid off half its small staff and may have to cut back on charity giving.

The festival took in $600,000 to $900,000 less than expected, according to a preliminary report from Festival Productions Inc.

"It's the first time since the '70s that revenues have not exceeded expenditures," Jazz Fest associate producer Louis Edwards says. He said the festival spent about $10 million this year.

Festival proceeds are the chief source of revenue for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. The nonprofit foundation has laid off four staffers and cut salaries for the remaining four employees, said Byron Hughey, foundation treasurer.

To keep its nonprofit status, the foundation gives more than $1 million a year to various groups and activities, including jazz workshops in public schools, radio station WWOZ, jazz funerals for musicians and the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music.

No decisions have been made regarding specific cuts, Hughey said.


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