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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra lays off 6 employees

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has laid off six employees as part of ongoing restructuring at an organization that has been dealing with seven-figure budget deficits in recent years.

Jackie Groth, the ISO’s interim president and CEO, said the positions were in information technology, patron services, development, and communications and marketing.

“Really, it’s just part of our initiative here to balance our budget,” Groth said Wednesday morning. The layoffs were an “unfortunate” but necessary part of that effort, she said.

Forty-six full-time employees remain at the ISO, not including 85 union musicians. The orchestra had as many as 80 administrative employees in early 2009.

The staff cuts come as the ISO’s leaders try to turn around years of financial losses. The ISO's expenses of $25.6 million exceeded revenue by $1.7 million for the 2011 fiscal year. Last year's deficit was $1 million less than the previous year's and $1.1 million less than the deficit two years ago.

With the end of the ISO's current fiscal year seven weeks away, Groth declined to comment on her specific expectations for 2012’s financial performance. She said it’s too early to know because the summer season is still in progress. But she did say the ISO would finish the year with a deficit.

A need to restore the orchestra’s endowment, which took a hard hit from market woes during the recession, has been a major reason behind ISO cutbacks. The organization, which drew $7.3 million, or 7.2 percent, from the endowment last year, has been reducing its dependence on the fund.

The endowment, which the Indianapolis Symphony Foundation manages, stood at $89 million at the end of fiscal 2011, about $5.5 million more than the previous year. The fund peaked at $128 million in 2007.

Simon Crookall, the former president and CEO of the ISO, launched a $100 million capital campaign in spring 2010.

The first phase brought in $12 million to $13 million, Groth said. Fundraisers have put the campaign on the back burner as the orchestra searches for a replacement for Crookall, who resigned earlier this year.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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