The ballet and the symphony in Dayton, Ohio, were born from the ashes of the Great Depression in the 1930s, and the Dayton opera came later, during this country’s classical-arts boom of the 1960s. All three thrived in the decades that followed. But by 2009, as the recession continued to hit the city hard, all three cultural organizations were suffering. Each was forced to lay off workers, trim salaries, and eliminate performances to survive.
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