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KSO's Strategic Plan Published


All around the world, symphony orchestras are under pressure to find the key to operating in challenging and changing times. Traditional symphony audiences are aging. New technologies are providing easily accessible alternatives to live performances in the concert hall. Communities are grappling with persistent social issues, making support and funding for the arts all the more difficult to obtain. Orchestras everywhere are struggling to prove their relevance to their communities.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) is more fortunate than many of its peer organizations. The KSO enjoys the long-standing support and generosity of its community, a consistent subscriber base, and the security that a strong endowment provides. Thanks to strong community support, artistic excellence, a committed staff and board, and strong education and community programs, the KSO has been able to weather the storms of a shifting arts environment. Still, the organization must be ready to adapt, reinvent, and improve in a dynamic and accelerating environment.

In 2014, the KSO was at an important organizational crossroads. With a new leader at the helm, and on the cusp of its upcoming 100th anniversary season (in 2020-2021), the KSO knew the time was right to evaluate all facets of the organization and carefully plan for the future. For eleven months (October 2014 through August 2015), the KSO embarked upon the most wide-ranging and inclusive strategic planning process in the organization’s 95-year history.

The result of the planning process follows: a road map to lead the KSO into its next century.

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