Symphony reaches $5M fundraising goal

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.

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