“Oregon Symphony Board Chairman Jack Wilborn is blunt when asked about the board’s reaction to the nonprofit’s difficult years,” writes Sue Vorenberg in Thursday’s (4/20) Portland Business Journal (Oregon; subscription required). “ ‘Year after year the focus of the board meetings was cash flow and the budget,’ he said…. ‘Scott came on board and changed it 180 degrees,’ Wilborn said of Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter…. Since Showalter joined the organization in 2014, ticket sales have increased 55 percent, the budget has increased by 35 percent and the symphony has increased its classical concert offerings by 20 percent…. ‘We decided to invest in programming [says Showalter] … [by] adding kids programming, waterfront performances … a concert using Intel technology.’ ” Says Showalter, “There’s a number of immigrants in our orchestra and our director is also an immigrant, and we commissioned a play about immigration…. We’re also asking civic arts groups and nonprofits to participate in the series. It’s a different way to consider classical performances…. We want to build partnerships and galvanize the arts and culture community in Oregon…. We’ve learned we can’t just go with our hands out. We have to make investments in the community so we can draw them in.”

Posted April 26, 2017