It’s a tough time for Michigan’s arts institutions, writes Mark Stryker in Wednesday’s (6/3) Detroit Free Press. “But the Detroit Symphony Orchestra just hit a $1-million jackpot. The DSO has received a million-dollar grant from the New York-based Ford Foundation for fund-raising and marketing initiatives around music director Leonard Slatkin. The three-year gift is designed to help the DSO expand its donor base. The gift reaffirms the significant effect that the 64-year-old conductor has made in his first season on several fronts, including generating artistic ideas, audience-building and fund-raising. ‘They see us going in the right direction, and they think that the Slatkin appointment was pivotal to the ongoing success of the orchestra,’ said DSO president Anne Parsons. The DSO has responded to falling donations, endowment declines and soft ticket sales with more than $1.6 million in cost-cutting this year, including layoffs, pay cuts and canceled programming. The DSO still must raise $2 million by Aug. 31 to balance its [FY 2009] budget.”

Posted June 4, 2009

Photo: Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leonard Slatkin
Credit: Courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra