The Oregon Symphony has announced grants totaling $1.45 million from four foundations in support of ongoing programs.
The grants include operating support grants of $1 million from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, $300,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust, and $100,000 from the Collins Foundation, as well as $50,000 from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in support of the organization's education programs.
With three of the grants coming from foundations that have not supported the orchestra in several years, the announcement marks a step forward in its multiyear effort to achieve financial sustainability. Portland's largest performing arts organization finished its 2008-09 season with an operating deficit of $519,000, down from $590,000 the previous year, while box office revenue reached $6.61 million, up 35 percent over the last two seasons. The orchestra's grant revenue from foundations in the 2007-08 season totaled $1.69 million.
"In addition to these significant grant awards, it's encouraging to have the support of these foundations," said Oregon Symphony Association president Elaine Calder. "They serve our entire community and are understandably prudent in their choice of recipients. These grants signal their recognition of the role the Oregon Symphony plays in our community and of our efforts over the past several years to create a stable platform of financial and operational support for the orchestra."