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Two sports teams kick in to help stumbling orchestra

The owners of the Indiannapolis Colts and the Pacers have donated $1.5 million to the orchestra’s $5 million fundraising target.

The orch locked its musicians out earlier this season, claiming it was unable to continue paying the present wage bill. They finally agreed to a 32percent pay cut. The orch is now $2.35m towards its financial target, but the musicians live in continued uncertainty.

Nice of the sports guys, though, to help out. ‘This great orchestra has experienced a difficult start to its season and a challenging time in its rich history,’ said Colyts owner Jim Irsay. ‘But just like our Colts, every team can achieve success with a rallying cry from its fans.’

Here’s the press release:

indy orch

Indianapolis’ major sports teams donate $1.5 million in support of the
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
With lead gifts from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and a
$500,000 challenge grant for new donors from Yvonne Shaheen, ISO reaches $2.35 million in new
INDIANAPOLIS –The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s “Life. It’s Better with Music” fundraising
campaign to raise $5 million before Feb. 3, 2013 has reached a milestone, as Indianapolis Colts owner
Jim Irsay and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon have pledged lead gifts of $750,000 each. Announced at
the ISO’s annual meeting on Dec. 3, these major gifts, coupled with a $500,000 challenge grant from
longtime ISO supporter and board member, Yvonne Shaheen, and other pledges, puts the organization at
$2.35 million raised to date.
“As former co-chairmen of the ISO’s capital campaign in 2010, Mr. Irsay and Mr. Simon have once again
demonstrated their commitment to a sustainable future for the ISO,” said Martha Lamkin, ISO board chair.
“To add to this mix, Yvonne Shaheen has generously stepped up to help with a significant one-to-one
challenge grant in order to maximize pledges from new donors. This level of support from our community
and business leaders is vital in sustaining the organization’s financial health.”
“This great orchestra has experienced a difficult start to its season and a challenging time in its rich
history,” said Jim Irsay. “But just like our Colts, every team can achieve success with a rallying cry from
its fans – and that time is now for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Alongside Herb, I’m proud to
support and celebrate the contribution that the ISO provides our community, to help ensure its financial
stability, and to call on all business leaders and supporters to do the same,” he added.
“The ISO has been embedded in our downtown, our schools, and our Hoosier communities for more than
82 years,” said Herb Simon. “Jim and I recognize the significant sacrifices made by everyone involved
and are on board to assist in securing its future for the many generations after us. The ISO’s slogan says
‘life is better with music.’ I think Indianapolis is better with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra,” he said.
With $5 million raised by Feb. 3, 2013, the ISO and its musicians will enter into a new five-year contract
that represents significant concessions made by the musicians as well as substantial annual fundraising
goals which are above and beyond the annual $6.5 million the ISO raises annually. The ISO is calling on
its community of subscribers, patrons, affiliate group members, donors and corporate leaders to contribute substantially to the organization in order to support its musicians, its programs and its
educational initiatives on an annual basis.

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  1. Good on the Colts! What a wonderful story they’ve been this year (those who follow American sport knows what I am talking about) and it is heart warming to see there is an attnetion to everything that is happening in their city. I wish the Football guys over here in Europe were as attentive.

  2. ruben greenberg says:

    Mr. Arditi is a fine novelist, essay writer and a scientist into the bargain. Of course, this doesn’t mean he can succeed in running the big bureaucratic machine that our symphony orchestras have become. It is time that symphony orchestras discovered the bohemian spirit of many of the top period-instrument ensembles.

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