Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Symphony gets challenge grant

The Cabell Foundation has made a challenge grant to the Richmond Symphony, under which the foundation will match, dollar for dollar, new or increased contributions to the orchestra up to $500,000.

The foundation’s $500,000 gift will go the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Foundation as a new endowed fund to recruit and retain musicians and administrators “required to sustain the Richmond Symphony as a leading regional orchestra,” according to a news release from the orchestra.

Contributions matching the grant will go to the symphony’s operating budgets for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years (about the same time spans as the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons). The challenge grant will be applied to new and increased contributions made through June 30, 2014.

“Early success in the effort will be particularly important,” the release states, in an apparent reference to the ongoing impasse over reduced pay and benefits for symphony musicians. Terms of a proposed new contract, put into effect last month after being rejected by the musicians, were needed to address an accumulated debt of nearly $1.3 million, a spokesman for the board said.