City and County Announce SA Symphony Incentive Plan

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(From left) Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and Office of the Mayor Director of Communications Bruce Davidson chat before the second of two Tricentennial concerts.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

(From left) Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and Office of the Mayor Director of Communications Bruce Davidson chat before the second of two Tricentennial concerts.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Tuesday afternoon announced a plan aimed at incentivizing the Symphony Society of San Antonio to privately fundraise, with the goal of saving the San Antonio Symphony’s current season.

“Supporters need to understand that if this season is to be saved, their increased financial contributions are needed right now,” Wolff stated in the press release.

Next Tuesday, the Bexar County Commissioners Court will consider reallocating $350,000 from County-supported, arts-related programs to the Symphony. The funds would match “future private fundraising,” according to the news release.

“The City and County cannot solve the financial difficulties of the Symphony by ourselves,” Nirenberg stated in the announcement. “We hope to encourage patrons and corporate donors to increase their financial support.”

The 2018 City budget dedicated $614,000 to the Symphony, of which $368,400 remains. Last week’s cancellation and subsequent resurrection of the remaining season complicated issuance of the remaining funds, which were intended to support a full performance season, according to the release.

City Council will consider a plan to release the funds for operational support, provided milestones for fundraising, operations, and performances are achieved.

New Symphony Society Board Chair Kathleen Weir Vale did not respond to requests for comment on the current state of the resuscitated season of Tricentennial-related and other performances by deadline.

Tickets already held by season subscribers and advance purchases will still be valid, said Christopher Novosad, director of marketing for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, should season performances be announced.

“Advance sales for all re-announced performances will be available,” Novosad said, adding that any advance sales for canceled shows will be refunded.

The movie-themed Symphony concerts, hosted by the Majestic Theatre, pose an exception. When the season was cancelled earlier, Ticketmaster immediately refunded those tickets, Novosad said.

2 thoughts on “City and County Announce SA Symphony Incentive Plan

  1. Then I will wait until next Tuesday’s Commissioners Court outcome to start giving my two pence for the year….

  2. As the Development Chairman for the Symphony Society Board, I welcome these “challenges” from the City and County and am intensely grateful to them, but would also like to point out that we are turning like a jet already! The greater challenge, the larger challenge, is to encourage a bottom-up grass-roots upwelling of determination from the City at large to keep this world class Symphony playing. In the middle of the Great Recession the Witte Museum added a $100 million improvement to its campus. In these good economic times I pray the citizenry will come forward to secure the Symphony for all time as well.

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