Symphony reaches $5M fundraising goal

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has exceeded its $5 million fundraising goal, an achievement that clears the way for musicians' long-term employment contracts to kick in.

More than 70 performers had been working under a bridge agreement since a five-week lockout ended in October. At the time, the parties agreed that a new, five-year contract would go into effect only if the symphony could raise $5 million by Feb. 3. Meeting the ambitious goal required the ISO to raise almost as much in three months as it typically raises in a year.

The ISO was far behind in January, but a last-minute rush in donations appears to have helped the organization hit its goal and avoid having to return to negotiations with musicians.

"We are thrilled by this strong support from the community, especially in these final days,” ISO board chairwoman Martha Lamkin said in statement.

The organization said Sunday night that it did not have a final total to announce because it was still counting contributions.

By reaching the $5 million goal, the ISO qualified for a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. That money will be used to renovate the aging Hilbert Circle Theatre and ramp up marketing to reach new donors.


  • Sports
    Thanks to the Colts and Pacers for their contribution to make this happen!!
  • Forward
    Just in the nick of time, the community realized what an asset the ISO is to our cultural life. Lets go forward with a positive attitude and support via attendance. This is one fine ensemble.
  • Score! (and we don't mean football)
    Glad to see the donations came through and the musicians get much of the credit. Maybe they should get a bonus and have a development clause put in their contracts. Three months work for a year of normal fundraising is significant for "taking it to the streets." Now, let's see if the community continues to support the arts as much as sports!
  • Hurrah!
    So glad that the community showed how much the ISO means to the city and will keep the music playing.

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