Struggling Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Raises $1 Million in Emergency Funds

As reported earlier this month, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra recently declared that it is "in danger of running out of money and faces possible extinction if additional pledges cannot be secured to fund the MSO's much more modest, prudent budget and business plan for the future."

Now, the orchestra has managed to raise over $1 million in emergency funds, according to the Journal Sentinel. Since the beginning of this month, over 390 gifts have been given to the MSO, with the United Performing Arts fund awarding the orhcestar a $250,000 challenge grant "contingent upon the MSO raising a matching amount from new donors."

"We're really on track to make this work," said Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of the MSO. "People in Milwaukee understand the value of the Milwaukee Symphony. But they also understand that we didn't just cry wolf."

At the time of the MSO declaration, half the size of its orchestra was cut, and and the orchestra has altered its schedule of performances while seeking emergency financial assistance. It reported a $2 million budget shortfall in 2013.

On Dec. 9, Niehaus previously said: "In this critical time in the existence of the MSO, we have reached an unprecedented level of collaboration among the key players in the organization: the musicians, the music director, administrative staff, and partners such as the Marcus Center (for the Performing Arts) and Florentine Opera," . "Though we are admittedly at a crucially challenging point in the MSO's history, I believe this level of collaboration speaks to what an important asset the MSO is, and that this community as a whole is willing to go to great lengths to keep the symphony here in Milwaukee."



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