The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will not being shutting down anytime soon, thanks in large part to strong financial support from the local community.
Since a 5-week lockout that concluded in mid-fall, the Symphony’s 70 musicians had been working under a bridge agreement, with the understanding that a new 5-year contract would be contingent upon the ISO raising as much money in a 3-month period of time as it normally does in an entire year. It took a concerted effort—no pun intended—but the ISO not only met but exceeded the $5 million requirement.
Thanks to a last-minute rush in donations, this surprising and unlikely achievement effectively removed the last obstacle that stood in the way of a long-term contract for the ISO’s performers; which a good thing, since it saves the city from having to renegotiate with the musicians.
Said ISO board chairwoman Martha Lamkin, “We are thrilled by this strong support from the community, especially in these final days.”
As of Sunday night the precise, final numbers were not known as the contributions were still being counted.
One added bonus of meeting the $5 million goal is that a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment kicks in. The Lilly funds will be targeted at renovating the Hilbert Circle on Monument Circle, in addition to stepping up marketing efforts to strengthen the ISO’s donor base.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has been one of the city’s crown jewels since its re-opening in October 12, 1984. The Orchestra performs around 200 concerts each year to the delight of several hundreds of thousand symphony goers. In fact, it is the state’s largest performing arts organization, and one of only 18 orchestras that perform year round. Thanks to a community of like-minded individuals, the city can look forward to several more years of performances by one of the most talented symphonies in the country.