Struggling Charlotte Symphony gets boost from two $1 million gifts
Maybe the economy really is turning around.
Two donors gave $1 million each to the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina, an unprecedented act of philanthropy to the orchestra, reports my colleague Steve Brown.
The ensemble has been hampered by deficits for the past seven years and is not exactly out of the woods yet, but seeing such a generous response in these tough times has to be giving everyone a big lift down there.
My favorite quote in this story comes from Jane McColl, who, with husband Hugh, made one of the $1 million donations:
“The Charlotte Symphony is the sound of the city. It is our hope that everyone works together to support this important institution for our region.”
That's precisely the attitude that can save arts in trouble anywhere. It has to be a matter of civic pride and a firm belief in cultural values. Coming the same week as the startling $10 million gift to the New York Philharmonic to underwrite a composer in residence and create a new music award, the $2 million gesture in Charlotte gives one a little more hope.
Now, if we could only light a fire under all the moneyed folk in the Baltimore area -- and you know who you are -- we could be taking some big steps forward here, too.