Charleston Symphony Now Financially Sound

Classic Arts News   Charleston Symphony Now Financially Sound
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra expects to be financially sound by its fiscal year's end (June 30) after a successful fundraising campaign begun in November.

The orchestra fell into dangerous financial straits last fall when it became apparent that accrued debt was putting the organization at risk of folding, in spite of an 18% pay cut accepted by its musicians. Their salaries have now resumed normal levels and the orchestra expects to surpass the campaign's $500,000 goal by the month's end.

Board president Leo Fishman attributes the Charleston Symphony's newfound stability and galvanized outlook to the philanthropy of local individuals and businesses, some of which pledged multiyear giving. An unused line of credit also exists, The Post and Courier reported him saying yesterday.

In addition, the orchestra established an internal long-range planning committee and hired a consulting firm with which it drafted a five-year plan that has become the basis for all financial decisions. Currently underway is a search for a new executive director, a position that has been empty since director Sandy Ferencz stepped down last August.

Though Fishman does not expect a miraculous change, he told The Post and Courier today that he is positive. "I think we're going to be here for a long time."

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