In Tuesday’s (3/31) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), Amanda O’Toole reports, “North Arkansas Symphony officials Monday announced plans for a ‘Fresh Start,’ a $225,000 fundraising campaign intended to provide financial footing for the 2009-10 season. Officials made the announcement at a fundraising reception that followed a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. The organization will launch the campaign formally in the next several weeks. An anonymous $50,000 matching challenge grant already has been posted. North Arkansas Symphony board members decided last year that it needed to go ‘dark’ during the 2008-09 season to regroup, plan, and build an organizational structure that would help restart the orchestra, said Linda Wagner, interim executive director. At one point, the orchestra owed more than $150,000. By late December, a small group of volunteers and board members were able to whittle that down to $95,000. …  As of Monday, the debt was about $62,000, Wagner said. … ‘What we’re building is a strong organizational structure that’s carefully and well run and that has accountability and transparency to it,’ she said.”

Posted April 1, 2009