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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Receives $1.5M From Maryland To Continue Its Turnaround

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday it received $1.5 million from the state of Maryland. It's the first year of a multi-year bridge of support appropriated to the BSO through legislative actions by the Maryland General Assembly in 2020 and 2021.

A 2019 state workgroup on the BSO, outlined five years of decreasing support: FY2022 $1.5M; FY2023 $1.3M; FY2024 $1.1M; FY2025 $0.9M; and FY2026 $0.7M.

Gov. Larry Hogan affirmed his support for the BSO and arts in general, by authorizing the funds.

"Maryland is home to many cultural treasures, and investing in the arts has been a hallmark of my administration," said Governor Larry Hogan. "The BSO has done the hard work, producing a plan and faithfully implementing it. At the same time, it has demonstrated great resilience, reaching more Marylanders than ever before when it mattered the most. The future of the BSO is bright, and the time was right for the State to implement its commitment."

The funding will help the BSO follow through with its strategic plan and historic collective bargaining agreement with the orchestra's musicians.

"The BSO came together in 2019 in an extraordinary way, and while our plans are bold the theme is simple, we cannot cut ourselves to health," said BSO Board Chair Barry Rosen. "The BSO is on a course to energize the institution, to better reflect and serve our diverse community, and to grow audiences and revenues, but these plans require cost management, strategic investment, and time. The State's multi-year bridge was designed to provide just that – turnaround capital and a runway to realize incremental change."

The BSO recently celebrate the tenure of outgoing Music Director Marin Alsop. It also launched a summer series featuring 14 free concerts.

"The BSO is deeply indebted to generous friends who have seeded our transformation to-date, including our expansive outreach in response to the pandemic," said BSO President and CEO Peter Kjome. "Thanks to the shared sacrifices of musicians and staff, the generosity of BSO patrons, and extraordinary pandemic relief funds, we anticipate ending the 2021 fiscal year in a financial position that will help us continue to serve the citizens of Maryland. With the Governor's actions today, and the unwavering support of the Maryland General Assembly, including Senate President Ferguson, House Speaker Jones, Delegate McIntosh, and Senator Guzzone, the BSO has yet another reason to move forward with great resolve and confidence."

The BSO's Board-approved budget is $29.8M for FY2022.

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