Cello, Music Lovers! Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s $7 Million Fundraising Campaign Will Be Music to Your Ears

Philip Mann, music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, will guest conduct the final Masterworks concerts at the Sarasota Orchestra April 4-6, 2014.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced today, Oct. 22, the “Orchestrating the Future” fundraising campaign, which has already raised $4.9 million in support of professional music and educational programs for Arkansans today and tomorrow. Through this three-year fundraising campaign, which officially began in 2014, the ASO will raise a total of $7 million.

“With the help of the people of Arkansas, this fundraising campaign will give the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra a solid financial foundation in which to connect, enrich and inspire children and families,” said Dr. Richard Wheeler, chair of the ASO board of directors. “Generations of Arkansans experience the magic of live symphonic music through ASO performances, and we want to ensure that tradition continues.”

Several donors have made leadership gifts to the campaign, including Julie and Chris Keller III, the Philip R. Jonsson Family Foundation, Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Beth and Dr. Richard Wheeler, Jan and Dr. Randal Hundley, Terri and Chuck Erwin and Ellen Gray.

The funds raised through the campaign will benefit four key opportunities for ASO, including building the endowment, supporting the ASO during the renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall, expanding music education programs to include the Sturgis Music Academy, and achieving financial freedom to continue creative innovations.

Dr. Richard Wheeler, Martin Thoma, Jan Hundley, Gus Vratsinas, Dr. Phil Peters and Philip Mann serve as co-chairs of the “Orchestrating the Future” campaign, which will conclude June 30, 2016.

“On behalf of all six of us serving as chairs of this fundraising campaign, we are honored to serve in this role for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,” said Hundley. “In the last 50 years, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra has been fortunate to connect, enrich, inspire and advance audiences but our focus over the next 50 years is investing in our community through service and engagement.”

Building the Endowment

Through this campaign, the ASO will raise additional endowment money to increase the income received from the endowment in future years. With this fund in place, donors can help support the ASO and its mission for generations to come.

Interim During Renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall

The renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall will create an accessible, accommodating and inviting performance space for the ASO. More convenient lobby and reception spaces will make connecting with the audience much easier for the board, staff and musicians. The modern-day facility will provide for a more intimate concert giving musicians the chance to connect beyond the stage. These funds help the ASO get through the transition years to the completion of Robinson’s renovation.

Expanding Music Education Programs

With gifts from the Sturgis Foundation, ASO will launch a new Sturgis Music Academy for children to learn and play an instrument. Music making develops discipline, team work, listening and reading skills in young people. Gifts to this campaign will allow ASO to serve the demand for more opportunities for children to learn how to play an instrument.

Continuing Creative Innovations

The Creative Capital fund is designed to help the ASO bring new ideas to life. In a rapidly changing environment, the ASO needs to have the ability to enhance artistic, marketing, and educational initiatives. This fund will allow the ASO to impact communities and connect with constituencies, while being agile and able to deliver more value to the community.

To learn more about the “Orchestrating the Future” fundraising campaign, or to make a gift, visit www.arkansassymphony.org.

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