Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oregon Symphony asks the city for some help in its upcoming trip to Carnegie Hall

I found a link from the Oregon Symphony's facebook page to a report in The Mercury regarding the city commissioners' banter over the orchestra's request for $200,000 in support of its trip to Carnegie Hall next year. Even though the city is experiencing financial stress during this time, I would be the one of the first to encourage the city to support the orchestra in this endeavor. The Oregon Symphony has been chosen to play at the hall for a specific festival at Carnegie, and it will be the first time for the orchestra to appear there. This is a prestigious event that will help to raise the profile of orchestra and of the city. It would be a worthy undertaking by the city and may result in extra benefits afterwards.

Near the top of the article you can cast your vote on the matter, and the article has generated a lot of reader response.

Note to The Mercury: Thanks for this report, but please replace the photo of Lorin Maazel with one of Carlos Kalmar.


curtis heikkinen said...

I'm with you, James. The symphony contributes much to Portland and the surrounding area economically and culturally. I know there are budgetary difficulties facing Portland and that there are pressing needs to be met. But when aren't there budget problems and reasons to spend money on seemingly more pressing problems? I have to believe that, even with all the demands on the city's budget, there still is a place for allocating some funds to a meritorious,one-time request from a deserving arts organization. I would not for the first minute advocate spending public funds on the Carnegie trip if I was not convinced that the symphony was spending its own money wisely.

In sum, this opportunity to raise Portland's and the symphony's profile is too good to pass up. I am also persuaded that Portland will benefit from this appearance and that this would be a worthwhile expenditure of money. The orchestra deserves the city's support both through the quality of its playing and the steps it has taken to address its own financial challenges.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of negative feedback on the Mercury blog about this idea. I want to see the OS go to NYC. But $200,000 is a chunk o' change.

How about this: Ask the City to make a challenge grant for $100,000 instead.

If the OS can raise $100,000 the City will match it. The OS could utilize an online micro fundraising blitz with small donations by those people who care. All it would take is 5,000 $20 donations or 2,000 $50 donations. In a Metropolitan area of 1 million plus, that is not a lot of households. Plus it gets the support outside of the PDX city limits. May be a dumb idea. But I like it.

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James Bash said...

Hi Anonymous,

A matching grant from the city would be better than nothing. How about raising the stakes to $200,000. The city would provide up to $200,000 of what the OSO would raise?