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HomeAbout UsKso NewsKalamazoo Symphony Announces $8.8M Campaign

Kalamazoo Symphony Announces $8.8M Campaign

Music Connects Us 100th Anniversary Campaign
10/14/2021

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) is announcing the Music Connects Us fundraising campaign for its milestone 100th anniversary. This important campaign is an $8.8 million community effort to ensure a vibrant future for the KSO's next 100 years. Co-chaired by Jane Rooks Ross, Barry Ross, and Ken Miller, this bold initiative will enhance the symphony's artistic excellence, community engagement, and financial sustainability; and, it will contribute directly to the future of outstanding musical experiences for Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan.

"Strengthening our symphony is essential as we create a vision to sustain our next 100 years," said Jessica Mallow Gulley, KSO Executive Director. "Every great city is made stronger by having a great symphony. This $8.8 million campaign will ensure that the KSO thrives artistically and financially. The KSO is developing innovative, accessible programming and community engagement initiatives. Over the next five years, we will be focused on deepening our impact, enhancing community programming, growing our audience, and transforming our financial model by strengthening our endowment."

"The arts run deep in the spirit of Kalamazoo — the culture for arts and music here is unmatched — and we must do everything we can to secure this for the next 100 years," Music Director Julian Kuerti said. "The next generation of students and children, families and friends, will be able to come together for music. The KSO is unique in how we can serve this community, and — at 100 years old — we are growing and adapting along with those we play music for and with. Our vision for the future is to make symphonic music more accessible, widespread, and prevalent in our daily lives."

The Music Connects Us campaign will enhance the artistic excellence of the KSO, furthering its reputation as one of Michigan's great orchestras. It also will assist the symphony in its essential work for enhanced accessibility, expanded educational opportunities and in furthering its committed growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Board President Renee Pearl said, "Of the $8.8 million campaign target, the KSO is honored to share that it has already reached 70% of its goal. The symphony has done significant work over the past several seasons to secure financial stability, even in the face of a pandemic. This campaign means that we can expect more in the future: more music, more community, more outreach, more engagement."

Campaign co-chairs Jane Rooks Ross, Barry Ross, and Ken Miller noted that the KSO is honored and grateful to have received leadership gifts from many in the community to help secure the success of this special 100th Anniversary Campaign.

“When the pandemic hit, the KSO’s adaptability was on display,” said Rooks Ross. “This storied organization has grown and thrived during the last 100 years. It has been a vital part of our community and now it’s up to us to ensure that we can continue to offer inspiring music and quality programs for at least another 100 years.”

The future of the arts and culture in Kalamazoo is bright. Those interested in making a gift of any size to the KSO’s Music Connects Us campaign may do so by directing gifts to 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 100, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, or calling 269.349.7759. Gifts to the Music Connects Us campaign can also be made online at: kalamazoosymphony.com/support.

About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Making symphonic music a part of everyday life for 100 years, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra shares lifelong musical experiences and learning throughout our community. We are on the stage—and online—actively collaborating with other Kalamazoo area organizations to inspire, care for, educate, and connect people through the arts. We are the state’s third-largest orchestra, serving Michigan’s sixth-largest metropolitan area with a professional roster of more than 80 musicians and a dedicated staff through exceptional symphonic music, world-class guest artists, and a vibrant educational program.

The KSO receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and the Stryker Johnston Foundation, and we are supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Recognitions, awards, and grants include a major Ford Foundation grant to establish our innovative Artists in Residence program, and recognition from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The KSO also receives generous support from other local, state, and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support.

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